Low attendance at Madawaska town meeting
by Don Eno, Reporter
Jun 21, 2012 | 434 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ONLINE FIRST: MADAWASKA - At the Madawaska town meeting on June 19, approximately 40 people cast ballots on warrant items ranging from new ordinances to the municipal budget, according to town documents and town clerk Kathleen Pelletier.

In previous years, the town council would have been presenting specific municipal and departmental financial warrants for the voters' consideration. This year however, due to the unresolved issue of the large tax abatement request from Twin Rivers Paper, the town found itself presenting just two budgetary warrants.

Through those two warrants, voters authorized municipal officers, as well as the school department, to spend an amount not to exceed 1/12 of the 2011-2012 budgets each month, beginning on July 1.

That percentage would be on a budget category basis, and the school department would still be allowed its 5% line item transfer. This interim budget scenario will be in place until the adoption of an annual town operating budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

Town manager, Christina Therrien was unavailable on Thursday afternoon, but Pelletier said there has been no definite date set at this time for the meeting at which that full budget would be adopted.

Pelletier added that, Therien was clear that the meeting on the 19th was not the annual town meeting, nor was it a special town meeting, but rather a town meeting convened to allow voters an opportunity to act on these issues in a timely manner.

Also reviewed at the meeting were five new ordinances, including those addressing medical marijuana businesses and fireworks. The marijuana ordinance sets out rules governing the structure, location and local licensing of medical marijuana cultivation and dispensing facilities, and includes requirements for setbacks, security and hours of operation.

The fireworks ordinance provides for oversight of "consumer fireworks" and not commercial type fireworks used in large displays, which require a permit from the state's public safety department. The new municipal ordinance for consumer fireworks stipulates setbacks, permit requirements, clean up and consideration of Maine Forest Service's fire danger day rating on the day the display is requested.

The town also passed an updated sewer ordinance, as well as the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code, which will be retroactive back to September 28, 2011. All ordinances are available at the town office.

Also at the town meeting, Roger Lavertu was appointed to the town's budget committee and Frances Gendreau and was re-appointed to the same.