SABINA — Village council passed a measure Thursday to temporarily prohibit the cultivation, processing or retail sale of medical marijuana.
The moratorium, not to exceed 180 days, is meant to provide time for village lawmakers and residents to obtain information and discuss the pros and cons of a medical marijuana business in town, said Councilman and Chairman of council’s Planning & Records Committee, Mike Walls.
The resolution, which council approved 6-0, comes after a man who is seeking a possible site for a medical marijuana facility, contacted the town’s mayor.
Sabina Mayor Dean Hawk said the man was aware of a particular empty building in Sabina.
The building has fencing around it with an electric gate, access for semi-trucks, a nice size, air conditioning, and the necessary electric, according to Hawk. However, the building also is close to the village park.
“He was aware of that building, that’s what made him call,” Hawk said following Thursday night’s council session.
Hawk said Thursday he hasn’t heard from the man since emailing him April 27 when the mayor informed him that the topic was referred to the Planning & Records Committee and invited him to the committee’s next meeting.
Walls reported to the full council Thursday, “The moratorium is not intended to stop the endeavor, but to allow time to get opinions from the residents on allowing this facility in the village limits.”
He added that currently there are too many unanswered questions in the opinion of the committee.
With council’s consent, the moratorium can end at any time prior to the 180-day maximum time period, said Walls.
Sabina Law Director Melissa Upthegrove said the moratorium gives council and residents an opportunity to make an informed decision.
She’s aware of some 20 to 25 other municipalities in Ohio that have taken similar actions.
Councilman Dan Osborne said he would like to see a clinical report on the benefits of medical marijuana, and find out how many people in the study were helped and for how long, and how many did not benefit.
Councilman Bill Lewis said, “Yes, we need more employees, but we can’t rush for everything.”
During Village Administrator Rob Dean’s report to council, he said there has been “a flurry of damage at the park” involving picnic tables, electric outlets and more and he does not know how to stop it.
He recommended the purchase of security cameras, saying they could save money in the long run.
“Video makes it hard to deny [criminal activity],” said Dean.
Police Chief Keynon Young submitted a written report about his department’s activities in April which was recited by the mayor. For the month of April, the Sabina Police Department received 222 calls, compiled 42 incident reports, investigated three traffic crashes, conducted 74 traffic stops, gave 80 warnings, issued 10 citations, charged suspects with 34 misdemeanors and 10 felonies, worked school detail 23 times, and had canine walk-arounds 30 times.
In the mayor’s report, Hawk mentioned three upcoming projects, to be financed through the Sanitary Sewer Fund, to maintain, upgrade or improve the sanitary sewer system.
“I believe that all the materials used in the above three projects should be made in the U.S.A., and that the labor should come from Sabina, Clinton County or at the very least surrounding counties,” the mayor said.
The EPA has asked the village to add to its reserve water capacity in the event of a major catastrophe, reported Hawk. A project to drill an additional well will be funded through the Water Department Fund.
The first meeting of the village’s FEMA Flood Zone Relief Committee, led by Lewis, will be 7 p.m. Monday, May 15 in the municipal building’s council room. The group’s goal is to have parts of Sabina that are currently designated as a flood zone re-classified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which would help relieve residents who have required flood insurance on their mortgages.
During public comment, resident Tom South said an experienced runner who visited Sabina recently was complimentary about the new trail that goes through Sabina. The multi-use trail is a 7.1-miles leg of the Clinton-Fayette Friendship Trail.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.