AYER -- Selectmen Tuesday night addressed issues such as adding a dog park to town and where to house a medical-marijuana dispensary.

John Hillier of Shirley proposed the idea of incorporating a medical-marijuana dispensary in the abandoned laundry building at 31 Central Ave. Hillier is the owner of the building and believes having a dispensary in an open and accessible area would be beneficial to people with legitimate debilitating illness.

One board member stated that if such a business was permitted, that the town has the ability to designate where the facility can be placed, possibly out of the downtown area.

Hillier said putting the facility in an industrial area would not be beneficial. He also argued that placing a marijuana facility in town provides a controlled environment to dispense the drug and prevents the business of backyard growers. Hillier also stated the facility would be a nonprofit.

The board concluded that the public and selectmen need to learn more about the issue before moving forward on the proposal.

The owner of The Trustcorp building at 25 Main St. is seeking a liquor license with intentions of creating a restaurant.

Plans are to upgrade the building, bringing it up to code by incorporating new toilet facilities and making it handicapped-accessible. The restaurant will be designed to accommodate meeting facilities with hopes of catering to everyone.


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The owner first needs the board to approve the submission of the liquor license to submit it to the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission. Once the ABCC conducts an investigation, the board will then approve the license.

The name of the restaurant is unknown.

The next item on the agenda was a plan to add a dog park in town.

Public Works Department Superintendent Mark Wetzel said The Stanton Foundation issues grants that pay for 9 percent of construction and an additional 5 percent for ongoing upgrades. Wetzel was referred to the Park Commission to consult possible open space in the town. It was also suggested he consult with the Planning Board which might have a list of particular sites where a dog park might be located.

The discussion of the amendment for the potential sale or lease of the old fire station was addressed. The board agreed to review the Town Meeting discussion on the matter. In the meeting, some argued that if the firehouse is sold, there would be no way to control what goes in the building. Others believe the building can be used for municipal purposes. One selectman said there may never be a buyer from another town who wants to invest money in the building, but there are hopes that someone might want to invest in the firehouse and renovate it to serve community purposes.

Selectmen hope to come to a conclusion with the firehouse matter in October.

At the beginning of the meeting, four athletes were presented with certificates for the Special Olympics that was held at Fitchburg State University.