WILTON — The Board of Selectpersons agreed Tuesday to send a request for development of a food sovereignty ordinance to the Ordinance Committee.

The request was made by a resident who operates a family-owned farm on Main Street, Town Manager Rhonda Irish read from a letter request received.

The resident was unable to attend the meeting.

Based on Gov. Paul LePage’s signing of LD 725 in June, other towns have adopted ordinances to cover local food production.

The bill, known as the food sovereignty movement, gives towns local control over local foods raised within the town, Irish said.

Consumers can purchase food directly from farmers or food producers without state and federal licensing and inspections.


Walnut Ridge Farm owners Jen and Dennis Taylor, who requested the ordinance, specialize in raw goat milk and cheese. According to their Facebook page, other specialty items they offer, such as yogurt, fudge and soap, are also made with goat milk.

Chairman Tiffany Maiuri said that the food sovereignty law is important for a small, rural town where someone can have a small farmstand or raise chickens and sell the eggs without extra regulations.

She proposed sending the request to the Ordinance Committee to bring a proposal back to selectpersons.

By consensus, other members agreed.

Irish had a sample ordinance from another town to present to the committee. Adoption of an ordinance would go to voters at the June town meeting, she said.

In other business, selectpersons considered voting hours for the third Regional School Unit 9 validation vote on Sept. 12.


After the last vote, Maiuri and Selectperson Ruth Cushman received calls from people who could not vote during the limited hours of noon to 7 p.m.

Selectpersons unanimously agreed to longer poll hours, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., for the upcoming vote.

“Every person has the right to be heard,” Maiuri said. “Even if it is only five residents, it is worth doing it.”

Selectperson David Leavitt questioned whether absentee ballots would suffice.

The ballot cannot be issued until Sept. 6 after the districtwide budget meeting on Sept. 5. During the last school vote, Wilton received 31 absentee ballots, Town Clerk Diane Dunham said.

The state only requires the poll to be open four hours, she said, and keeping the polls open longer incurs some additional expense for ballot clerk wages and meals.

A selectpersons workshop with the town assessor to set the town tax commitment was moved from Sept. 7 to Sept. 14 to include the school budget.

Taxes are due Nov. 4, Irish said.

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