Canton selectmen meet Thursday at the Town Office to approve a policy on remote board and committee meetings, among other business. From left are Selectmen Carole Robbins, Chairman Russell Adams, Brian Keene and Scotty Kilbreth. Selectman Kristi Carrier was absent. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

CANTON — A referendum on whether to allow medical marijuana stores in town and whether to approve an ordinance to govern them will be held Tuesday, Town Clerk Carol Buzzell reminded residents at Thursday’s selectmen meeting.

Polls will be open from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Town Office meeting room. Absentee ballots are available at the Town Office until Tuesday, she said.

The vote comes 11 months after the board granted Kevin Belanger of Dixfield a request for a vote in October 2020.

Belanger, a state-licensed medical marijuana caregiver, owns a medical marijuana business in Mexico. He purchased the Canton Caboose in April 2020, a month after he approached the board about his plan to operate a medical marijuana business and an ice cream shop there and received their general approval, he said.

After waiting more than a year after buying the property and a vote was still not scheduled, in June he presented the board with a citizen petition supporting medical marijuana businesses.

The board decided last month to schedule a vote Sept. 28 and include a vote on an ordinance to regulate such businesses.

In other matters, Selectman Scotty Kilbreth said the Planning Board has approved an application from Green Lantern Solar of Waterbury, Vermont, for a solar array and services.

Planning Board Secretary Diane Ray said Friday that the business plans to break ground on leased property off Edmunds Road this month. Earlier this month, she told selectmen the town would not need to pay anything to enter into an agreement with Green Lantern Solar and its “only requirement would be a 20-year commitment to be an offtaker for the solar credits.”

According to Ray, the town will receive credits that will be applied to the town’s Central Maine Power bill. Although the final discount amounts are still in negotiation, Ray said, “Green Lantern would then invoice the town for approximately 85% of the value of those credits, the end result being that the town ends up with a 15% discount on the energy that is procured from the solar array.”

Also at the meeting, selectmen approved a policy for remote board and committee meetings. The policy was set in accordance with a Maine state law approved in June regarding remote participation in public proceedings and became effective Friday, the selectmen said.

In part, the policy states that board and committee members may attend meetings remotely by virtual means such as by telephone or video technology but not “by text-only means such as e-mail, text messages, or chat functions.”

“All votes during a board/committee meeting using remote methods must be by roll call vote that can be seen and heard if using video technology, or heard if using audio technology only, by other members of the public,” it states.

Selectmen accepted a bid of $3,816 from McNeil Farms of Hartford to purchase some unused highway equipment. The only other bid was for under $100.

Board Chairman Russell Adams said Friday the town has upgraded its highway equipment.


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