Voters in the town of Freedom on Saturday accepted a local food and community self-governance ordinance whose intent is to protect the health and integrity of the local food system in town.

About 54 people turned out for the annual town meeting at Dirigo Grange Hall, according to Cynthia Abbott, town clerk, tax collector and excise collector.

The food ordinance says residents have the right to produce, process, sell, buy and consume local foods, thus promoting self-reliance, preservation of family farms and agricultural practices, and any law or regulation adopted by the state or federal government to interfere with the rights in the ordinance shall be unlawful.

People who buy food for home consumption may enter into private agreements with producers or processors of local foods to waive any liability for consumption of that food, according to the ordinance. Producers and processors of local food are exempt from having to be licensed or inspected as long as the agreements are in effect, it says.

In other matters, voters approved marketing 181.6 acres of foreclosed property on Sanford Hill with the understanding that funds from the sale would be used to recoup $33,032 accrued over the last few years in survey, legal and other fees.

Voters also agreed to donate $500 to the Waldo County Woodshed, a new nonprofit organization that provides low cost or free firewood for needy families in Waldo County.

The organization, established in January, raised more than $2,500 and used it to cover the costs of forming the corporation and buying 15 cords of firewood.

A flier issued by the organization’s president, Robert MacGregor, says it has provided wood in small quantities to more than 45 households. More than 20 names of people are on a waiting list for assistance, he said.

Land is available in Searsmont for preparing 100 cords of cut and split wood to season over the summer to be ready for use by the end of this year, he said. The organization hopes to raise $20,000 in cash and-or donations of firewood.

Voters Saturday agreed to spend $52,500 for solid waste disposal, $181,400 for public works and $154,000 for administration.

They also voted to divide $7,627 left over from the bicentennial fund into three parts and distribute it to the Old Cemetery Restoration Fund, the Fire Department Capital Improvement Fund and the historical society, according to Abbott.

In elections Friday, Stephen Bennett defeated David Bridges in the race for selectman, 129-45. Bennett will fill a seat vacated by Clint Spaulding, who chose not to seek re-election.

Abbott, who ran unopposed for her three positions, garnered 164 votes; Myrick Cross, a member of the School Administrative District 3 board of directors, was re-elected with 166 votes; and Ernestine Keller was re-elected town treasurer with 157 votes.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17


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