Rockport moved a step closer to bringing a new grocery store to town last week, as Governor Deval Patrick signed legislation authorizing the granting of a liquor license. Senator Bruce Tarr, a Gloucester Republican, and state Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante, a Gloucester Democrat, filed the legislation at the town’s request after a Town Meeting vote to create a liquor license specifically for a food store to sell beer and wine. The town has been without a grocery store since an IGA closed in 2011. Town officials have voiced the opinion, confirmed by those in the industry, that the ability to sell alcohol would help bring another grocer to town. At Town Meeting earlier this year, residents gave the Board of Selectmen permission to file a home-rule petition on the issue. Town voters must still ratify the liquor license proposal at a special election.

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