PARIS — Officials in Paris have scheduled a special town meeting for residents to determine the fate of a proposed marijuana ordinance for adult recreational use.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26, at the fire station at 137 Western Ave.

Members of the town’s Policy and Procedures Committee have worked on the ordinance for the past few months, reviewing state statutes and the policies in surrounding communities.

The Paris Board of Selectmen decided in August the ordinance would limit the number of facilities to three because of location restrictions next to schools, playgrounds, day cares and other marijuana facilities.

Those restrictions include being 1,000 feet from schools and other marijuana businesses, and 500 feet from day cares, parks, recreation areas and religious institutions.

The location of Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School and Oxford Hills Middle School would leave much of Route 26 off limits to marijuana businesses.

Licenses would only be for residents who have lived in Paris for at least two years, and the facilities would be limited to 1,200 square feet.

“The group did a great job reviewing the statutes and coming up with a plan,” Town Manager Dawn Noyes said.

If the ordinance passes, the town would begin accepting applications and will hold a lottery if more than three applications were submitted.

There are now no medical marijuana shops in town. Noyes noted Paris would likely consider that option next year.

A  few other items will also be considered at the special town meeting. A change to the Hall Pond Ordinance, for example, would benefit ice fishermen, according to Noyes. The change would expand the definition of a structure to allow for portable structures ice fishermen use.

Another item up for vote is the reallocation of funds from portable radios to building security. After June’s town meeting, when residents approved buying radio with town funds, Paris received a $20,000 grant from author Stephen King to buy portable radios for police, fire and others.

Voters will also decide whether ownership of the clock and bell at the First Baptist Church of Paris should be transferred to the nonprofit group now using the former church.

Located at 500 Paris Hill Road, the structure has been maintained by the nonprofit group for the past 40 years. The clock and the bell are owned by the town of Paris. According to town records, the bell was a gift in 1883 from Hannibal Hamlin, vice president under Abraham Lincoln and a local resident.

If ownership is transferred, the clock and bell would return to the town if something would ever happen to the nonprofit group.

In other matters, selectmen approved liquor licenses for Doe’s Inc. and the Stars & Stripes Bowling Center.


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