SANFORD (AP) – The Board of Selectmen is poised to decide Tuesday whether to schedule a second referendum on a proposed Indian casino this November.

Gordon Paul, the board’s vice chairman, said two weeks ago that he thinks a second local vote is necessary. But he’s not sure he has enough votes on the five-member panel to carry the day.

The board last year urged residents to vote yes to the question: Do you favor casino gambling in Sanford-Springvale? Paul said selectman took that stance so the town could do more research on the issue.

Voters went on to approve the nonbinding referendum by a margin of 540 votes.

Maine’s Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes recently optioned 362 acres off Route 99 for the proposed $650 million casino and resort.

They have presented a preliminary plan for the project to the town’s Planning Department.

Voters statewide will decide Nov. 4 whether to legalize casino gambling in Maine.

Paul said it’s time for the town to put together a separate question for residents.

Waiting until after November would be a big disservice to the voters, he said, suggesting that waiting would send the wrong message.

“People would say it’s a done deal,” he said. “Let the people decide in November. It gives us a barometer.”

Selectmen Gary Morse and Roland Cote have said they might favor a second Sanford vote, but at a later date. And Morse has previously said he might ask Sanford voters to vote yes on the statewide casino referendum only if they favor locating the casino in Sanford, in effect making the local totals serve as a local measure.

Deadline for local referendum questions or nomination papers for the Nov. 4 ballot is Sept. 18.

AP-ES-08-04-03 1053EDT



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