DOVER-FOXCROFT – When the residents of Dover-Foxcroft go to the polls in November, they will vote on articles regarding the creation of ATV routes and the authorization of certain retail marijuana facilities. A municipal by-law calling for a special referendum and elections was signed by the selection committee during a meeting in August.
DOVER-FOXCROFT – When the residents of Dover-Foxcroft go to the polls in November, they will vote on articles regarding the creation of ATV routes and the authorization of certain retail marijuana facilities.
A municipal decree calling for a special referendum and elections was signed by the selection committee at a meeting on August 23. The polling stations will be open for the referendum vote from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 2 at the gymnasium of the municipal building on Morton Avenue.
The VTT article asks “Are you in favor of the Select Council creating access roads for snowmobiles and ATVs on certain public roads in order to facilitate access to snowmobile and ATV trails?” A favorable vote would allow the select committee to designate specific access routes at a later date.
Last month, city officials, members of the Dover Rovers ATV Club and the public discussed at length a proposed 1,400-foot extension of the existing ATV access road on Foxcroft Center Road. The extension would have lasted until the end of the season. The board did not approve the extension due to a tie vote of 3-3.
A motion containing the extension of Foxcroft Center Road, as well as a direction from the city to work with the Dover Rovers ATV Club to develop a question on access to ATVs on public roads to be placed in the November referendum, obtained a vote of 3-3 and was not approved.
There is currently a vacancy on the select committee following Ernie Thomas’ resignation last month, and the vacant seat will be filled in November.
Another motion to only extend Foxcroft Center Road also got a 3-3 vote. A subsequent motion to work with the ATV club to develop a referendum question was approved by a 6-0 vote.
The November 2 ballot question is contingent on the understanding that the ATV club approves the proposed wording and will not petition to place a similar question on the ballot.
“The next set of questions are around the retail marijuana issues, adult marijuana use and not the medical side of things,” said chief executive Jack Clukey. He said the land use committee asked for four items to be entered in the November 2 ballot.
The questions “will allow voters to indicate whether they are in favor of allowing retail activities in certain land use districts,” Clukey said. “It’s just like the ATV article – it’s about whether or not someone favors a certain policy. “
If the article is passed, the city will proceed with drafting amendments to the land use ordinance for future voter consideration, and if the article is rejected, the city will not proceed.
Four types of establishments are presented separately for consideration: adult marijuana retail stores, adult marijuana grow facilities, adult marijuana product manufacturing facilities, and testing facilities. adult marijuana permitted in some land use districts.
In other cases, council has approved a motion requiring anyone entering the municipal office to wear a mask or face shield – with medical exemptions in place, such as for respiratory problems – if the color-coded community transmission is orange or red.
“I think it’s important that we protect our staff when a lot of people come in,” Selectperson Jane Conroy said. She said some businesses in the area have had to shut down temporarily after staff fell ill.
“The question I asked us, should we state that we have a requirement entering the city office or facilities?” Asked Conroy.
The chosen person, Gail D’Agostino, concurred with this opinion, saying that the masks should be required under the orange or red designation (the two highest of the four color possibilities). Piscataquis County is currently in the red, based on the proportional number of average daily cases among the population.
City officials have chosen to continue developing a remote meeting policy, scheduling a public hearing on the subject for the meeting on Monday, September 13. Any policy adopted could be used by other groups in the city, such as the town planning council, if the entity agreed.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the selection committee had met remotely as well as in a hybrid method with members present in the community hall of the municipal building on Morton Avenue and other participants via Zoom sometimes over the past 17 months. .
A special law passed in March 2020 allowed remote town meetings, but it expired in late July with the conclusion of Governor Janet Mills’ declaration of emergency.
Communities in Maine can adopt their own policies remotely for holding meetings under certain circumstances, such as allowing board members to attend if they or a family member has a health problem or is absent from the city for work.
“We continue to offer meetings through Zoom, but it’s really discretionary at this point,” said Clukey, after drafting a remote meeting policy for review. He said the policy only relates to the ability of selection committee members to meet remotely.
“It would give us flexibility,” said Selectperson Steve Grammont, saying that a remote meeting could allow the city’s business to be conducted in the event of an emergency such as a flood or a prolonged power outage.
The board of directors formally approved a contribution of $ 2,600 for a county broadband grant.
Last month, city officials learned more about a county broadband planning grant project from Piscataquis County Economic Development Council executive director John Shea – the council is the grant applicant – and the consultant, Casco Bay Advisors to Gardiner President Brian Lippold.
Shea explained that PCEDC received a $ 30,000 broadband planning grant from the ConnectMaine Authority for a study to identify specific broadband issues in the region. Having documentation in place would help to seek larger sources of funding to rectify the problems identified.
He said Piscataquis County commissioners showed their support for the initiative by agreeing to cover about two-thirds of the required matching funds – $ 19,890 in US bailout funds allocated to the county – during a meeting in June. The county commissioners asked the PCEDC to ask the 18 organized municipalities in Piscataquis County to contribute the remaining $ 10,110, divided proportionally, which would represent $ 2,600 for the Dover-Foxcroft share.
The grant will produce an area study and gap analysis that will be in place as grants and other funds are sought for broadband projects in Piscataquis County. The information will be used to produce GIS maps showing areas of gaps and other locations with a service in place. The maps will help determine the costs of expanding broadband access.
The board approved a donation of approximately 800 yards of potting soil for Foxcroft Academy to enable the high school to prepare its football field for the coming season. The other Foxcroft Academy football field, which had been used for games, is now under construction as a future site for a sports complex.
“We have an excessive amount of potting soil,” said Clukey, estimating a total of 15,000 meters and a small portion of the substance is used by public works. When asked, he said the city would deliver the potting soil.
“It sounds like a good way to give back a little bit,” said selection vice president Cindy Freeman Cyr, as Foxcroft Academy let the city use its facilities for youth sports.
During the public forum, D’Agostino asked about the condition of a dangerous building at 72 Lincoln Street. She said she had not seen recent activity since the barn was demolished and the rest of the structure boarded up.
Clukey said there were two benchmarks, the first was to dismantle the barn and the second is to complete the renovations by November 1. “It would be our point to revisit our declaration which is a dangerous building,” he said.
“From what I understand, they got the permits and then for some reason stopped the work,” said the city manager.
At the end of April, the board passed an official motion stating that with a plan in place to demolish the barn and renovate the residential part of the structure closer to the road, the city would take no action on a building order. dangerous until November. 1, provided that a plan submitted by a potential buyer to remedy the property is followed.
Council approved a dangerous building order in March for the unoccupied house and attached barn to address long-standing issues with the property.
The Lincoln Street property is owned by Alberta Luchetti of Little Falls, New Jersey. Her grandson Nick Bartley had said she was in poor health and couldn’t deal with the situation on her own. Bartley has power of attorney for Luchetti. Bartley said there was a potential buyer in place via Mallett Real Estate with a plan to demolish the barn and repair the house.