MOUNT VERNON — Selectmen will refer to an ordinance review committee a measure that would deregulate local food producers.

The proposal was brought to the attention of selectmen by Barbara Skapa, owner of a local cheese making business, Echo Ridge Homestead Cheese.

Skapa, who said she has been selling her products to local businesses and at farmers’ markets for the past several years, told selectmen Monday the ordinance is designed to protect small local food producers by exempting them from certain state regulations.

She believes the ordinance would allow local producers an opportunity to sell more products and help keep revenue within the state.

Skapa stated that the passage of the ordinance would make a statement to government regulators by saying, “The people of Maine are not stupid. They can make these decisions about their food without your consent.”

The ordinance is part of a movement by towns throughout Maine to prevent the regulation of local food purveyors and small-scale farmers. The ordinance has been passed in two towns to date — Sedgwick and Penobscot. Monmouth selectmen voted it down 4-1 in March.

Mount Vernon selectmen said the town’s ordinance review committee will make a recommendation before they decide whether the issue should be brought to voters at Town Meeting.

Also Monday, selectmen discussed the need for another special town meeting and public hearing — to be held April 25 at the Town Office — to debate the need for a special appropriation of $8,100 for repairs to a fire truck that failed a recent pump service test.

During the test, which checks all the functioning of water pumps, Truck 51 had a wheel bearing break.

The hearing will be to discuss which fund the money for the repair could come from. Treasurer Marti Gross said the money could come from the town contingency fund or the undesignated fund balance.

Firefighter Tony Dunn said he would seek another estimate before the meeting is held.

The public hearing will be held at 7 p.m.; the special town meeting will follow.

The town has made a number of special appropriations in the past two years to aid the Mount Vernon Fire Department, which is an independent agency in town. Firefighters are paid an average $9.85 an hour to answer fire calls to train.

Selectmen at a regular meeting in March approved $1,687 to pay a portion of the department’s costs for lighting, stop/slow paddles and traffic cones.

In 2009, the Fire Department announced it had overdrtafted its budget by $4,243, forcing selectmen to ask voters to appropriate that sum at a special town meeting.

The same year, selectmen asked for special town meeting authorization to expend as much as $26,200 for additional operating costs at the transfer station as well as $4,900 for road sand and salt.

Since 2009, Mount Vernon has held at least four special town meetings to approve outlays beyond what was approved at prior Town Meeting. The special town meetings have been to cover budget overdrafts within the Fire Department and elsewhere. No more than 10 residents voted to approve the measures at any of those special town meetings.

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