BUCKFIELD — The Board of Assessors’ emergency meeting scheduled to be held prior to the marijuana workshop by selectmen was canceled less than two hours before it was to begin.

The meeting was scheduled following discovery that the property tax rate was miscalculated by nearly $4 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

What was initially considered a steep drop of more than $3 to a rate of $18.70 grew to $22.40 when it was revealed last week that exemption values were not accounted for in the calculations.

The assessors were scheduled to meet Tuesday to set the new rate.

Asked why the meeting was canceled, Town Manager Lorna Nichols said in an email that the board “did not have anything to vote upon tonight.”

No rescheduled date was announced Tuesday.

The Select Board met Tuesday for a workshop on a town ordinance for adult-use marijuana businesses. The businesses could range from cultivation and dispensaries to retail sales.

The board hopes to have the ordinance in place in time for residents to vote on it at the town meeting scheduled for June. Residents must agree to opt in before any marijuana business could open in town. That business must meet state regulations as well as any rules required by the town before it could receive a license to operate.

Board member Cameron Hinkley said it was important for the town to move ahead with an ordinance, which has been in the works since 2019.

“It’s time for us to address this,” Hinkley said.

Instead of starting from scratch, a proposed ordinance had already been reviewed by the Planning Board, said former Selectman Martha Catevenis, who produced copies of the of the ordinance and a seven-page report by the Planning Board. Selectmen had tabled the issue in 2020.

The board indicated that it would establish an ad hoc committee at its next scheduled meeting Dec. 7 to review that proposed draft and determine certain guidelines, such as type of businesses, how many to allow in town, and what to charge for the application and license fees.

Hinkley urged officials to avoid charging exorbitant license fees, suggesting that the town consider annual fees in the $1,200 to $1,500 range. Some municipalities are charging between $3,000 to $5,000.

Selectman Janet Iveson said she wanted to know what other towns charge for fees and how many establishments they allow.

Chairwoman Cheryl Coffman noted that marijuana businesses could not be located near a school.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: