Voters in China approved all three local referendum questions by secret ballot Tuesday.

The town is now one of a number of central Maine towns with an ordinance banning recreational marijuana establishments and social clubs after residents approved to enact the ordinance, 193-172.

The decision to become a “dry town” comes more than six months after a statewide referendum question legalized recreational marijuana use in Maine, as well as the establishment of recreational marijuana retail stores, growing facilities, testing facilities, product manufacturing facilities and social clubs.

In the Nov. 8 election, most who voted in China were against legalizing recreational marijuana, 1,172-1,317.

The Select Board wanted to give residents the option of banning retail sales of pot since most people voted against it, Town Manager Dan L’Heureux said.

The board also tried to enact a moratorium but failed to gain a quorum of 126 registered voters at a special town meeting held in January.

Voters also approved appropriating $25,000 from the undesignated fund balance to buy and install a septic system for the emergency preparedness shelter at 571 Lakeview Drive, by a vote of 245-120.

To turn the space into a fully functioning shelter, this is the last step the board has to take, L’Heureux said.

An article to take $12,000 from the undesignated fund balance to buy 2 acres near the Town Office also was approved, 203-163.

The land, which has an assessed value of $18,000, is bordered by a town road and a town-owned parcel. It’s adjacent to the Town Office lot, making it an ideal location for any future town construction.

L’Heureux said the lot could be used for a future community center, a library or an emergency response center. The purchase is in anticipation of the revival of the strategic planning group, he said, as the town’s comprehensive plan is about a decade old.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour


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