Diana Bowley of the News Staff - DEXTER - Municipal officials are contemplating the creation of a moratorium on the opening of methadone clinics in the town. The Town Council agreed last week to hold a public hearing in January to get comments from residents.
The Town Council is aware of the controversy that exists in Bangor, where a methadone clinic is planned for a retail area, and in Rockland. They also are aware that Dover-Foxcroft officials are proceeding with plans for either a temporary amendment to their zoning ordinance or a moratorium to restrict the location of such clinics. While there have been no inquiries about opening such a clinic in Dexter, the council wants the town to be ready when and if one is made. "We've been looking at all the communities struggling with this," Dexter Town Manager Robert Simpson said Monday. "It's highly improbable that it will ever occur in Dexter," but the town needs to be prepared.
A moratorium would give local planners time to propose changes to the land use ordinance to address the issue.
After the public hearing, the planning board would look at suggested additions or changes to the land use ordinance governing such use. The matter then would go to public hearing before action could be taken by the Town Council, he said.
The Town Council also will hold a public hearing next month on a proposed amendment to the town's charter to cover the use of Jake Brakes, an add-on engine brake for diesel engines.
Simpson said Monday that he had received a number of complaints from residents on Route 7 regarding the use of these brakes, especially in the early morning and late night hours.
"It seems like there is an increasing use of Jake Brakes in urban areas," Simpson said.
Simpson said town officials had looked into restricting the use of these brakes in certain areas of town but learned the town could be held liable if an accident occurred because a truck driver was prohibited from using them.
Town officials may now use the same approach as Dover-Foxcroft and install signs that ask truckers to please refrain from using engine brakes, Simpson said.
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