When the Gardiner City Council meets this week, it will consider naming the members to the Recreational Marijuana Task Force that it created earlier this month.

The task force’s duty is to make a recommendation to the City Council on whether any commercial marijuana enterprises ought to be allowed inside Gardiner city limits.

On Nov. 8, Maine voters legalized recreational marijuana in Maine, allowing residents to possess and grow limited amounts. The law also allows businesses like retail shops and social clubs to operate under a state license, but cities and towns are allowed to restrict where such businesses could go or to ban them outright.

As created by the City Council, the seven-member committee will have three proponents, three opponents and a neutral chairman, who will vote only in the event of a tie. District 1 City Councilor Terry Berry has been designated at the chairman. Gardiner Police Chief James Toman, Code Enforcement Officer Barb Skelton and City Manager Scott Morelli will also serve as ex-officio members.

Thirteen residents submitted applications by the Jan. 27 deadline. Nine have identified themselves as proponents and four as opponents.

To arrive at a recommendation by the May 3 deadline, the task force is expected to gather public input and conduct research.

Two public hearings have also been scheduled.

The first will be on proposed changes to Gardiner’s Land Use Ordinance on how the ordinance should be amended, the repeal of the municipal timber harvesting regulation and lifting the requirement that proposed amendments to ordinances be submitted directly to the Planning Board. The first reading of the proposal is also scheduled for Wednesday.

The second public hearing will be on general obligation bonds to pay for a new firetruck. The City Council had approved a five-year loan for $200,000. This proposal would change the plan for borrowing money to a four-year loan for $153,805. The first reading of the proposal is also scheduled.

Two executive sessions have been scheduled regarding lots at the Libby Hill Business Park. One is for a purchase and sale agreement on lots 21 and 17 and the other is for an option agreement on lots 8 and 27.

Councilors will also:

• consider eliminating a street light on Beech Street;

• consider findings on dangerous buildings;

• consider biannual committee appointments, the appointment or reappointment of councilors to boards and committees;

• consider accepting a purchase and sale agreement on two lots at the Libby Hill Business Park, following an executive session;

• consider granting a special event permit for the Gardiner Cruise-In.

The Gardiner City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Gardiner City Hall at 6 Church St.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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