Chesterville adopts Food Sovereignty Ordinance

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CHESTERVILLE — Voters unanimously passed a Food Sovereignty Ordinance at a special town meeting Thursday.

The law allows food producers and processors to sell locally grown or processed food directly to consumers without being subject to state licensing and inspections. Producer-to-consumer transactions must be conducted where food or food products are produced, such as at a farm stand.

In June 2017, Gov. Paul LePage signed “An Act to Recognize Local Control Regarding Food Systems,” which gives towns authority to enact local food distribution ordinances.

The ordinance, which is effective immediately, does not apply to meat or poultry products. Those products still fall under U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection and licensing requirements.

In other matters, voters approved moving $500 from the Chesterville Fun Day account to the undesignated fund balance.

Treasurer Erin Norton said the Homemakers Extension donated $500 to the town in 2017. The donation was to be used toward the purchase of a new hot water heater in the Town Office.

At the time, all donations were recorded under a single account.

“It was an omission,” Norton said. “We forgot the homemakers made a donation. What we are doing here tonight is correcting a bookkeeping error and being transparent about it.”

The fund transfer will not affect Chesterville Fun Day, Norton said.

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