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Fairfield Town Council to begin update of smoking ordinance to include marijuana, electronic cigarettes

FAIRFIELD — The Town Council will be updating an existing ordinance to prohibit vaping and marijuana consumption at parks, playgrounds and other recreation areas in town at its Wednesday night meeting.

Councilors will also discuss a proposed all-terrain vehicle trail extension on the Norridgewock Road, as well as repealing an unnecessary ordinance.

Town Manager Michelle Flewelling said the town already has an ordinance that prohibits tobacco use in these public areas, which includes the Water Street playground, the Fairfield Athletic Complex on Industrial Road and Western Avenue, the Mill Island Park and Monument Park near the Lawrence Public Library. Flewelling said the ordinance was adopted in 2002 and underwent some minor revisions in 2014.

Since that time, she said the popularity of electronic cigarettes and vaporizers have increased, and voters across the state approved legalized recreational use of marijuana for adults over the age of 21 this past November.

“We try very hard to make sure parks and playground areas stay smoke free,” Flewelling said.

All these areas are drug-free zones, Flewelling said. The prohibition also includes adjacent sidewalks and parking lots and High Street between Monument Park and Fairfield Primary School.

The council will only discuss the updates to the ordinance at its Wednesday meeting. Following that, the proposal will go to a public hearing at their next meeting, after which the council will likely vote on the issue.

According to the proposed ordinance, those found in violation by a police officer will be issued a verbal warning. After that warning, a citation will be issued for the offender to show up in court. If that person fails to show for his or her court date, a fine of $50 will be imposed.

Councilors will also discuss a proposed ATV access route on Route 139. This discussion comes about a month after the council voted to support a different access route of just over a mile on Route 23. Both proposals came from…

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