Hallowell City Council on Monday will discuss the recent passage of legalized recreational marijuana, but unlike in other local cities and towns, the talks aren’t likely to focus on a moratorium.

City Manager Nate Rudy will make recommendations to the council on how to approach zoning and personnel matters related to the marijuana legalization. He said he doesn’t plan to recommend a moratorium.

Voters in Maine legalized the use of recreational marijuana last month, and since then, cities and towns across Maine have been meeting, and in some cases, instituting policy changes to prevent marijuana businesses or social clubs from popping up in municipalities after Jan. 1. A recount requested by legalization opponents is currently underway, but election night totals show the question passing statewide by 4,073 votes.

In Hallowell, Question 1 passed 873-755, according to certified results posted on the city’s website.

Other items on the Monday agenda include updates on the Stevens Commons redevelopment project, the Water Street reconstruction project and a proposed bond package.

Rudy also expects to recommend Drummond Woodsum as the city’s new provider of general and specialized legal services. Rudy said it had been quite some time since the city put legal services out for bid, and he expects any contract that hasn’t been updated in the last three to five years to be put out for bid over the next year.

Drummond Woodsum is a 67-lawyer, full-service firm founded in 1965 with offices in Portland and in Portsmouth and Manchester, New Hampshire. The firm proposed Amy Tchao, Drummond’s municipal law practice group leader, as the primary contact for Hallowell.

Drummond’s proposal said Hallowell would be charged $175 per hour for general municipal work, $275 per hour for specialized work and $120 per hour for paralegal work. The firm said it would be open to considering a fixed fee/retainer agreement rather than an hourly rate. It also said it would waive any mileage charges associated with traveling to and from Hallowell City Hall.

In other business, the city received a bid of $17,000 for a housing market survey by 45 North Research which it says would “provide valuable information about the viable uses of the Stevens School property and influence the direction a developer might take to develop the property.”

The research company, based in Yarmouth, would begin the working on the study Jan. 1 and would deliver a final report by March 31. The council will decide whether to fund this survey.

The highway committee met in late November and voted unanimously to recommend that the Maine Turnpike Authority delay work on the Winthrop Street Bridge overpass for at least two years. Committee chairman Alan Stearns has been in contact with the agency and will present his thoughts to the council Monday.

Rudy said there will be a finance committee meeting Thursday where bonding and Stevens Commons financing will be major topics of discussion.

The council agenda doesn’t include an update on Hallowell’s fire protection services. For much of the last several months, Rudy was hoping the fire services committee would make a recommendation to the council and that the council would vote on the city’s fire protection future at the December meeting.

It appears any decision on the future of the Hallowell Fire Department won’t happen until after the new council is sworn into office in early January.

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ

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