TURNER – Voters approved a $2.87 million municipal budget and a medical marijuana storefront ordinance at the annual town meeting Saturday at Leavitt Area High School, where 112 voters attended.

The approved 2019-20 budget is a 3.72% increase from last year’s budget.

An originally recommended $363,000 was amended to $371,000 for administration to account for a new town assessor, which Board of Selectmen Chairman Kurt Youland said would benefit the town.

“The work of the assessor has not been satisfactory,” he said. “In order to possibly replace them, some additional funds may be needed.”

Voters also approved an increased code enforcement budget to make the current part-time officer full time.

Residents approved $30,000 for the fire equipment reserve because Fire Chief Nathan Guptill said the department’s equipment is getting old and will soon need to be replaced or improved.

Voters also approved a medical marijuana storefront ordinance in a 62-29 ballot vote Saturday, which Town Manager Kurt Schaub said will help regulate current and future establishments in the town.

Because the caregivers in Turner were previously only licensed through the state, the town had no way to regulate who was growing and selling medical marijuana.

“This amendment is needed to legitimize businesses currently running and to stop the black market sales by people who don’t want to be legal and known about,” Youland said.

Residents also passed a medical marijuana storefront licensing fee ordinance, which will require caregivers to apply for an annual license through the town and the state.

A zoning ordinance that would have allowed event and wedding barns in Turner’s rural zones failed by a 19-59 ballot vote. Residents claimed the noise and increased traffic would be dangerous and unwanted in the rural zones of town.

The only budget article to fail asked voters to transfer the entire balance of the Obsolete Buildings Reserve into the Boofy Quimby Memorial Center Reserve. The total balance was about $3,000.

Angelo Terreri and Steven Maheu were both re-elected to the Board of Selectmen, Richard Gross was re-elected to the RSU 52 board, Matthew Maloney was re-elected to the Budget Committee and David Berry and Mason Brown were elected to the Budget Committee through write-in votes.


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