Monday evenings meeting began at 4 p.m. with the Auditor presentation, followed by another joint meeting with the budget committee to review the coming years proposed budget and finally the regular meeting was preceded by a two-minute public hearing to discuss the liquor license application for the Portage Tap House in Oquossoc, hoping for a memorial weekend opening.

The regularly scheduled meeting was called to order at 6:02 p.m.

The Board unanimously approved accounts payable warrant numbered thirty-seven in the amount of $1,377,786.70 and the liquor license application for the Portage Tap House in Oquossoc

The Board unanimously authorized several consent items, accounts payable warrant numbered thirty-three in the amount of $120,268.20, accounts payable warrant numbered thirty-five in the amount of $14, 334.00 and they authorized and expense of $1,500.00 out of the Town Office Reserve for the purchase of a computer for the Treasurer.

The Board was presented with a proposed agreement to provide a feasibility study for a new grid-tied, net metering solar array to be constructed at the Stephen A. Bean Municipal Airfield at a cost of $18, 243. Selectman Egan voiced concerns that authority to reach out to the attorney regarding the matter was never given nor was the document requested. Guy Rouelle with Dubois & King did provide a presentation at the previous Board meeting but the Board neither acted nor directed the Town Manager to take action. Selectman Egan asked that the Board be given the opportunity of time to educate themselves on the subject matter and the potential for a town wide go green thought process and plan. While the money for the feasibility study is in the force account and will not cause additional burden on the tax payers there are organizations that may do the study for not cost at all. Selectman Burgess commented that he thinks we should move forward with the presented proposal and thinks the Board is doing a disservice to the public if they don’t take advantage of it. Selectman Egan offered a reminder that the force account monies is not going anywhere so the Board taking a step back and educating themselves is quite the opposite of a disservice and in fact in the best interest of the Town’s people. The Board voted by three for and two opposed to send the document to the Airport Commission for review at their March 25th meeting and in the meantime obtain the information to make a knowledgeable and less forced choice.

And as if one contentious subject matter wasn’t enough for the evening the Board would go on to discuss the draft Marijuana Business and Facilities Ordinance. Selectman Egan came to the table ready to argue that the remaining section of main street/downtown commercial district from Allen Street to Loon Lake Road that was not exempt from the allowed area should be based on some misguided concept that a decades old grant opportunity left us with essentially “restrictive covenants” on the use of Town property, namely the sidewalks and she argued that because it was given under the heading of Safe Routes to School that it should fall under what she interprets in the laws language to be safe zones. She further went on to argue that she felt the process was being rushed even though the Ordinance Committee has been working on the document, at the directive of the Board of Selectmen, for over a years’ time, during which time not a single Board member, other than the one on the Ordinance Committee, attended any of the committee’s meetings or requested a copy of the working document(s). The proposed ordinance will once again be brought to the Selectman at their March 18th meeting for a final determination if it will be placed on the coming Town Meeting warrant for a vote by the legislative body of the Town, aka the people.

The Selectmen have another joint meeting with the budget committee, at which they will hear from the groups that submitted request for donations, on March 11, 2019 at 4 p.m. and their next regularly scheduled meeting is March 18, 2019, barring no public hearings, workshops, etc. it will begin at 6 p.m.

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