Issues to be discussed at the committee meetings will be safety and response time to the dispensary for law enforcement, impairment while driving, security of the site, traffic safety for those parked and those passing by the dispensary, and correct following of the organization’s hours of operation stated in their application, according to Percy Thibeault, chair of the Frenchville board of selectmen.
“There are no police nearby,” said Thibeault, which he said was one of the residents’ concerns. “And what if we drive by at three, four in the morning, and the lights are on?”
The committee is made of 12 members and the planning board, and also includes Gary Picard, selectman, as facilitator, and another selectman that may vary for each meeting, according to Phil Levesque, town manager for Frenchville. Committee members are Paul Bernier, Valier Ouellette, Rose McQuarrie, Sheila Ouellette, Camille Bernier, Ed Boynton, Jamie Voisine, Kevin Lavoie, Judy Paradis, Bernard Michaud, Emma Underhill, and Patricia Voisine.
The planning board includes Dave Potter, Yvon Dube, Andre Ouellette, Antoine Paradis, Danny Paradis, Lloyd Paradis, Robert Paradis, and Aurel Lavoie.
Leo Trudel, one of the principal officers of Safe Alternatives, said that he attended the first meeting and that he plans on attending the weekly meetings whenever possible. He also said that he wants to listen to what concerned residents have to say, and answer their questions as needed.
“It was a good idea that I went,” Trudel said of the first meeting held Monday, Nov. 22. “There were a lot of questions.”
Trudel said that some residents were not fully informed. If the moratorium committee wants more research information, he added, they too could ask him.
After the Nov. 29 meeting, three more meetings are scheduled to take place at 6:30 p.m. for the next three Monday evenings, according to Thibeault. Each meeting will be approximately two hours, he said.
The moratorium was initially voted in on Nov. 10 for a 180-day period, but is retroactive to Aug. 10, when Trudel first approached the board.
The committee has until Feb. 10 to decide to either allow the nonprofit organization to set up shop in Frenchville at the state-approved growing and dispensing location at 479 U.S. Rte. 1, or to extend the moratorium by another 180 days.