OTISFIELD — The Board of Selectmen heard a presentation from the emergency management services chief Wednesday evening about adequate street address markers for residents.

Town EMS Chief Beth Damon said a committee of police, fire, emergency management personnel and dispatch employees in Oxford County have been meeting to discuss how to ensure residents mark the address on their houses better to make it easier for emergency responders to find them.

Damon said the town doesn’t have an addressing ordinance, which would provide guidelines for residents to make their home addresses visible.

Selectman Rick Micklon pointed out that “many towns have ordinances for addressing, and they won’t give you an occupancy permit if you don’t meet it.”

Damon said the committee is headed up by former Paris Fire Chief Brad Frost and its goal is “trying to find money” to purchase address markers.

“Brad’s a really good grant writer,” Damon said. “Right now, we’re trying to purchase some address markers. They sell some at Wal-Mart. We’re just not making a big push because we’re figuring out our money situation.”


Micklon asked Damon how much it would cost to purchase enough address markers for Otisfield which has about 600 homes.

“For Otisfield, it would probably be thousands, but not in the tens of thousands,” Damon said. “The markers are $12 apiece. They’re not inexpensive.”

Micklon said money shouldn’t be an issue in considering whether or not to participate.

“I’m all about this,” he said. “If money is the issue, we should be proactive. This involves taxpayers and public safety, so I don’t see why we can’t use money we get from tax-acquired property or something else and then put an article on the warrant.”

Chairman Hal Ferguson said that he thinks providing address markers for residents is a good idea, but he would want to “test the waters” before purchasing them.

“We don’t want to buy them if people don’t want them,” he told Micklon. “We should see if they’re receptive first, and I think a town meeting is an excellent place to do that.”


The board did not act on the issue, but agreed to discuss at a later meeting.

In other business, Ferguson told the board and audience that the town should begin thinking about how to handle the state’s marijuana law.

He raised the issue after resident Herb Olsen asked him whether the town was going to consider a moratorium on retail marijuana establishments and social clubs.

Ferguson said he noticed that other towns, including Norway and West Paris, are putting questions on their town meeting warrants asking for a moratorium on retail marijuana establishments and social clubs.

“We certainly should be thinking about (it),” Ferguson said. “If surrounding towns adopt a prohibition, it becomes more pleasing for someone to set up something in Otisfield, which is a central point.

“It may be premature to talk about this, because it looks like the feds may rain on their parade,” he said.

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Selectman Lenny Adler listens during Wednesday evening’s board meeting while EMS Chief Beth Damon talks about providing address markers for Otisfield residents to post on their property to make it easier for emergency departments to find their home in case of an emergency.

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