Washington voters will decide whether to adopt a moratorium on marijuana establishments during Friday’s election in advance of Saturday’s Town Meeting.

The moratorium would prohibit retail marijuana establishments, stores and social clubs from opening in Washington for 180 days. Recreational marijuana was legalized in Maine by voters in November, and since then, many municipalities across the state have enacted moratoriums temporarily banning marijuana-based retail stores from opening.

Voting will take place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Gibbs Library on Old Union Road, while Town Meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at Prescott Memorial School on Waldoboro Road.

Select Board member Thomas Johnston is running unopposed for another three-year term and Guy Barrie is seeking re-election to the Regional School Unit 40 school board.

During Saturday’s meeting, selectmen plan to present a $718,283 proposed town budget for the 2017 fiscal year, more than $39,000 over last year’s budget, according to the town warrant. The increases are mostly a result of changes in Knox County taxes, administrative costs and public safety expenses.

The proposed budget includes an additional $10,800 for a second deputy town clerk/tax collector/treasurer, a position that was created after last year’s Town Meeting. The budget also calls for $15,000 to support the Washington Library Association and Gibbs Library.

According to the warrant, voters will decide whether the Recreation Committee can spend $4,000 to buy an equipment storage building and whether an additional $17,375 can be spent on public safety. The town’s firetruck loan payment is increasing by $13,075 to $31,623.

Town officials are also hoping to appropriate $103,934 from the Local Roads Assistance Program for capital improvements on town roads, an increase of almost $29,000 over last year’s request. Last year’s budget also included $125,000 to repair and repave Hopkins Road between Route 17 and Route 126.

Other business includes a request for $6,500 more than last year for employee health insurance and an extra $2,900 for payroll expenses.

The town is saving money in a number of areas, including an additional $69,982 in general fund revenue, which will lower the 2017 tax commitment by $466,382. The new tax rate is expected to be set after the school budget is finalized in June.

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ

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