May 28, 2018
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Veazie adopts medical marijuana facility rules, finishes budget

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

VEAZIE, Maine — Town councilors adopted rules for medical marijuana facilities and completed a $4.7 million spending plan for municipal and school operations in the coming fiscal year during a meeting on Monday night.

Both matters were approved after separate public hearings, Town Manager Bill Reed said Tuesday.

Veazie’s rules for medical marijuana growing facilities and dispensaries were drafted after Maine voters authorized the use of marijuana for certain medical conditions. Reed said there is no application for such facilities pending in Veazie and that the town’s land use code was amended to govern them should such facilities open in the community.

In Veazie, the facilities would be limited to industrial and commercial areas and be subject to approvals from the state, the town’s planning board and the police chief. The ordinance also prohibits mobile dispensaries or growing facilities, according to documents provided by the town.

The annual budget plan, which takes effect on July 1, includes Veazie’s $2.6 million share of the Riverside RSU education budget, as well as a net municipal budget of $1,047,000, Reed said.

It also reflects a $13,000 increase in the town’s assessment from the Orono-Veazie Water District for fire hydrants, a $30,000 increase in the county tax bill and a $20,000 increase in the Veazie Sewer District assessment, Reed said.

If approved as is by voters during the annual town meeting, set for 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, at Veazie Community School, the property tax rate will remain at its current $18.80 per $1,000 in property valuation.

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 contracted out snowplowing, town vehicle maintenance, grounds maintenance and municipal building janitorial services.

The changes enabled the town to reduce the public works staff by the equivalent of 2.5 positions, which helped offset cost increases and allowed the town to budget more for capital improvements, including road improvements, Reed said.

Reed said Tuesday that besides mailing the annual town reports to residents, Town Clerk Karen Humphrey will be posting them on the town’s website.

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