GREENE — Town meeting voters on Saturday rejected two articles that would have authorized the licensing and operation of marijuana storefronts after the town manager expressed concerns about enforcing regulations.

The vote against marijuana retail licenses came despite the Greene Planning Board having already created the applicable regulations, after a year and a half of meetings and public hearings.

Town Manager Charles Noonan spoke neither in support nor in favor of the articles allowing marijuana storefronts but said he had practical concerns.

“Since Greene does not have a police department, neither the state police nor the sheriff will enforce local ordinances,” Noonan said. The town would be reliant on the state regulatory agency for marijuana to enforce against any illegal activities and on the local code enforcement officer to deal with any code violations.

“I don’t think that any of the code enforcement officers are prepared to do this. This really should not be at a local level, certainly not a local level in our size community,” Noonan said.

All other articles on the meeting agenda were approved by voters, including budgets for parks and recreation, fire department, road construction, public works, transfer station and more for a total commitment of nearly $2.2 million in 2019.

Greene plans to use the services of town planners at the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments much more sparingly after the group recently began charging for planning assistance at the rate of $65 per hour, according to Noonan. However, the Planning Board Expense Account was increased by $600 over the previous year to account for the change.

The town is also expecting to complete paving and construction projects on major roads this summer, after disappointment with some projects from last year getting pushed to 2019. This year, voters approved adding $350,000 to the leftover budget from the previous year for road work. The town expects to ask for an additional $350,000 next year to pave and rebuild smaller municipal roads.

Noonan noted that Central Maine Power will be switching the streetlights in Greene to LEDs in the coming 30 to 90 days at no cost to the town.

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