PARIS – The few residents attending a special town meeting on Monday night voted to extend the town’s moratorium ordinance on methadone clinics by six months, giving town officials more time to work on the issue.

The ordinance is now extended until July 20. The moratorium was originally implemented last summer.

A half dozen residents and Paris Police Chief David Verrier attended the special town meeting held prior to the regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen. There was no comment from residents after the vote.

The vote gives town officials more time to study how to better control the treatment centers if they ever proposed moving into this area.

Methadone is used to wean addicts off drugs like heroin and OxyContin. The clinics are controversial, partly because some worry they could bring more crime to the area.

Since last summer, town officials from Oxford, Paris and Norway have been meeting once or twice a month to discuss ways of managing methadone clinic development.

They have reviewed their site plans and drafted state legislation that would give the state more control over the licensing of methadone clinics. The towns’ ability to control the clinics is limited by federal law.

Today, officials from the three towns, including police chiefs and town managers, are scheduled to meet in Paris at the town office with representatives from the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency to discuss the issue and get the state agency’s perspective.

In a separate vote, residents approved increasing the town’s 2005 property tax levy limit of $1,082,852.

The town’s mill rate had been incorrectly calculated in 2004 for the 2005 fiscal year. The rate was slightly below what was needed for the town to pay its bills, and last year the town took out a tax anticipatory loan.

Town Manager Sharon Jackson said Monday that the vote will allow the town to use a new tax levy limit rather than the 2005 levy limit. Other towns in the region voted last year to increase their levy limit.

In other business during the regular board meeting, Jackson said the town’s auditor, Lance Bean, anticipates having final copies of the audit ready to review with selectmen at the next regular meeting, scheduled for Jan. 23.

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