Starks residents will consider a 180-day moratorium on medical marijuana businesses as well as an ordinance that would regulate the construction of wireless communications towers in a referendum Friday.

The two proposed ordinances will be voted on along with a contested race for one seat on the Board of Selectmen. The Town Meeting will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Starks Community Center.

A total budget number was not available from town officials, but some of the larger items that residents will be asked to approve spending on include $87,670 for administration costs, $33,300 for the Fire Department, $50,000 for summer road maintenance and $50,000 for winter road maintenance.

There are no other major changes from last year in the budget items being considered, although the 66-article warrant does include an item asking residents to discuss the future of the former town office on Locke Hill Road.

This year’s Town Meeting warrant asks residents to raise $3,000 for maintenance of the building, which has been vacant since the closing in September of the Starks Village Store, which occupied the space until then, said First Selectman Paul Frederic.

“We’ve had a couple of inquiries about leasing the building, and there are also people who think it would be prudent to see it,” Frederic said, adding that the warrant item is intended to generate discussion and will not necessarily result in any action being taken at the meeting.

On Friday residents will consider a proposed medical marijuana moratorium ordinance, which was drafted earlier this year after an informal proposal to open a marijuana research laboratory in Starks.

The ordinance would prohibit the town from acting upon any applications for medical marijuana businesses or other operations for 180 days while it works on developing zoning for them. The city of Waterville approved a similar moratorium last month.

“We’ll see where it goes, but we feel it was something residents ought to have a chance to weigh in on,” Frederic said.

Also Friday, residents will consider an update to the Board of Appeals Ordinance and whether to enact a proposed Wireless Communications Ordinance, which would regulate where and how wireless communications facilities can be built. One of the purposes, according to the draft ordinance, is to “preserve the character, appearance and important cultural and natural resources of Starks while allowing wireless communications facilities to be developed,” while also helping the town provide better communications services to businesses and residents.

In the election, Frederic is running against Shane L. Sours for a three-year term on the board.

In uncontested races, Kerry Hebert is running for a three-year term on the Board of Assessors and Jennifer Zweig Hebert is running for a three-year term as town clerk.

Polls are open from noon to 8 p.m. Friday at the Starks Community Center.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm


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