Franklin Countys First News

Rangeley to elect selectmen, decide on marijuana moratorium at Tuesday’s town meeting

RANGELEY - Residents will elect two selectmen, decide on $4.14 million in municipal expenditures and choose whether or not to enact a marijuana moratorium at Tuesday's annual town meeting.

Rangeley utilizes a referendum style town meeting format, after residents approved the format change in 2016. Polls will be open for the municipal and state elections from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Rangeley Town Office.

Incumbent Selectman David Burgess is running uncontested for a three-year term on the board. Two residents, Stephen Philbrick and Ethna Thompson, are running for a one-year term on the Board of Selectman.

Other elections include Ethan Shaffer, running uncontested for the Sewer Commission, and Michelle Laliberte, who is running for one of the two open slots on the Parks Commission. Four seats are open on the Budget Committee and two seats are open on the Regional School Unit 78, with no declared candidates.

The budget listed in the town report is proposed by the selectmen at $7,589,184, with that figure including $650,000 for the county tax, $2.76 million for RSU 78 and $4.14 million in municipal expenditures, including $215,000 in donation requests. In total, the budget would represent an increase of $155,775 over the current fiscal year, or 2.1 percent. The Budget Committee's recommended expenditures are slightly higher, with an extra $3,000 budget recommended for the police department. The committee did not issue recommendations on the $215,000 in proposed donations.

Residents will also decide whether to approve a moratorium on retail marijuana stores, facilities and social clubs for 180 days. A common tactic in Maine towns since the Marijuana Legalization Act was passed via state-wide referendum on Nov. 8, 2016, the moratorium is designed to allow the town to develop regulations for businesses that either sell marijuana or allow it to be consumed on the premises.

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