WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) — Officials in Westerly are looking into making the serving of beer while at the beach permanent.

The town last summer allowed restaurants and bars to serve beer along the beach in Misquamicut as a way to help them make money amid shutdowns and restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

At a town council meeting this week, Town Manager Mark Rooney and police Chief Shawn Lacey were authorized to move ahead with plans to make the policy permanent, The Sun of Westerly reported.

Lacey said there were few problems last summer but noted that crowds were smaller than normal because of coronavirus limitations. He said a system must be developed to make sure patrons do not wander onto private property or public beaches while carrying beer.

Councilor Philip Overton expressed concerns, and said if there are problems, the policy could be revoked.

The council also moved closer to making $150 fines for improper parking in Watch Hill permanent. The fine was doubled from $75 last summer in response to the pandemic.

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