Veazie to unveil budget plan, medical pot rules at Monday hearing

Posted May 06, 2011, at 11:10 p.m.

VEAZIE, Maine — The proposed municipal budget for next year, as well as a proposed ordinance governing medical marijuana growing facilities and dispensaries, will be the focus of back-to-back public hearings during a Town Council meeting set for 7 p.m. Monday at the municipal building.

First up for a hearing is the ordinance. Like a growing number of other Maine communities, Veazie drafted a set of rules for medical marijuana facilities after a statewide referendum in which Maine voters authorized pot use for certain health conditions, Town Manager Bill Reed said Friday. There is no application for either kind of facility pending in Veazie, Reed said.

During a second hearing, residents will have an opportunity to weigh in on the proposed budget for the coming fiscal year, which starts July 1.

Budget documents available on the town’s website show that the proposed municipal budget, despite increases in the county tax and assessments for Riverside RSU and water and sewer districts, will maintain the property tax level at its current $18.80 per $1,000 in property valuation.

“I think the budget’s a really fine one,” Reed said. “Everyone sharpened their pencils and found cost savings where they could.”

Reed said that most department budgets would remain near this year’s levels, with the exception of public works.

As part of an effort to restructure staff and services, Veazie has decided to contract out several services that used to be done in-house, Reed said. Chief among them are snowplowing, town vehicle maintenance, grounds maintenance and municipal building janitorial services.

Those changes enabled the town to reduce the public works staff by the equivalent of 2.5 positions and to increase the amount set aside for road work, Reed said.

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