Packed house for Marijuana Ordinances

Central City citizens turn out in force for Amendment 64 legislation

By David Josselyn

Call to Order

  The Central City Council was called to order by Mayor Ron Engels at 7:04pm on Tuesday, February 19h. All council members were present.

Consent Agenda

  Items on the consent agenda included the Regular Bills lists of February 7th and 14th and the City Council minutes of February 5th. Alderman Bob Spain moved to approve the consent agenda and Alderman Shirley Voorhies seconded. Alderman Gloria Gaines wanted to know if the budget line items could be added to the regular bills for a relevant comparison. Finance Director Shannon Flowers responded that there is a complication adding that extra information in the report, but Gaines is welcome to look over the budget lines after the meeting. Flowers added, that starting in March, the financial reports will be included in the data packet for the council meetings which will include the budget lines. The consent agenda was then passed unanimously.

Resolutions for Personal Possession of Marijuana

  Mayor Ron Engels presented Ordinances 13-02 and 13-03 to the council and City Attorney Marcus McAskin summarized the ordinances. Ordinance 13-02 defines marijuana and marijuana accessories to be consistent with Colorado Amendment 64. The ordinance includes legalizing possession of one ounce or less for adults 21 years of age and older, and prohibits purchase or possession for any under 21 years of age. Additionally, possession of marijuana paraphernalia, such as bongs, water pipes and glass pipes, would be exempt from criminalization.  Ordinance 13-03 would amend current zoning laws to allow for home-grow operations, but limit the number of plants to 12 per household.

  The mayor opened the hearing to the public and Central City citizen Rick Richards addressed the Council. Richards wished to clarify that the ordinances being considered tonight would conform to State Amendment 64. City Attorney Marcus McAskin assured Richards that these ordinances only brought the City in line with current state laws.

  Alderman Gaines moved to approve ordinance 13-02 and Alderman Spain seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

  Alderman Gaines inquired about the potential fiscal impact of ordinance 13-03 pondering if additional or specialized equipment would be necessary for emergency services should they need to enter a residence growing marijuana. Mayor Engles stated that at this time, there is no foreseeable fiscal impact should they choose to pass ordinance 13-03. Alderman Voorhies moved to vote and Alderman Spain seconded. The ordinance passed unanimously.

Fire and Police Pension Status Update

  Financial Director Flowers presented an update on the status of the Fire and Police Pension Association fund. Funding for 2013 is at 94% which is adequate for the City’s needs.

CDOT Apologizes to Central City

  City Manager Alan Lanning received a letter of apology from the State of Colorado Department of Transportation regarding the closure of the eastbound I-70 off-ramp to Hidden Valley. Three weeks prior to tonight’s meeting, Alan Lanning was informed by CDOT that they planned to close the off-ramp for a period of one month starting February 11th due to the twin tunnels project. Lanning estimated this would cost the City $195,000 in lost revenue. CDOT has now changed their plans for the closure. The construction crew will be working a 24/7 schedule to reduce the closure time from one month to 10 days. The closure has been delayed to the evening of Monday, February 18th. The allowable exception to the 10 day closure would be inclement weather. Don Hunt, Executive Director of the Department of Transportation, stated in his letter that CDOT will utilize variable message signs and other information resources to advise the public of the closure and associated detour. Lanning told the Council that this was the best they could expect from the situation.

  The meeting was adjourned by Mayor Engels at 7:40 p.m.

Heads Up

  The next Central City Council Meeting is on Tuesday, March 12th.

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