03-29-2018 Hartford Commission rejects planners recommendation for location of marijuana dispensary,
309 WEST MAIN… in the City of Hartford has been recommended by the City Attorney and City Manager Yemi Akinwale as a fully compliant site for a medical marijuana provisioning center per the City’s Medical Marijuana Ordinance. The site of 309 West Main is the easternmost exposure of the Family Dollar Store building on Main Street Hartford. The blank wall in the center of this photo would be the location of Med+Leaf’s front door. (TCR photo by Jon Bisnett)
Hartford Commission rejects planners recommendation for location of marijuana dispensary, favors site adjacent to Ely Park in Family Dollar building
By Jon Bisnett The Monday March 26 business session of the Hartford City Council resulted in a 5-2 vote to deny the proposed medical marijuana dispensary Med+Leaf at the former MacKinder Law Office building, next to City Hall at 11 West Main. Commissioners Dennis Goss and Helen Sullivan were the lone dissents, voting to approve the location. Commissioner John Miller championed the floor as he and other commissioners dismissed the Planning Commission recommendation for 11 West Main. Citing language within the ordinance, Miller stated emphatically “…the measurement standard was here all along. I am confident that our ordinance exactly states the measurement method.” Planning Chairman Tim Kling told Miller that the unanimous vote out of the City’s Planning Commission would not have changed. His committee was looking at what was best for the City, not struggling to defend a measurement method. Kling who took great offense at last week’s comments from the Council that he and his committee were somehow lesser empowered since they were appointed and not elected called out Commissioner Terry Tibbs as “unethical” in recanting his prior support of 11 West Main if Med+Leaf agreed to use only the rear entrance. Kling called on Tibbs to recuse himself from the vote to which Tibbs refused. Med+Leaf’s principal investor Doug VonKoenig spoke briefly to remind those present that prior to their application on December 17, they had approached John Miller, Clerk RoxAnn Isbrecht and City Manager Yemi Akinwale as to how the measurement was to be made due to the confusing references in the ordinance. The next step for Med+Leaf is to move forward on the property located at 309 West Main less than 75 feet from Ely Park. VonKoenig reminded the Council that the 309 West Main site was suggested by Akinwale in a letter dated February 22 as an alternative location, as advised by the City Attorney stating in an email to Med+Leaf as a fully compliant distance from churches and schools. In a prior meeting VonKoenig questioned, “If we were to change the application to 309 West Main…” Commissioner Tibbs immediately responded, “Automatic approval…” The revised application will visit the Planning Commission and come back to the City Council is April.
Public comment Peggy Bowen spoke as a resident of Shepard Street to further attest to the validity of the Seventh Day Adventist Church at 9 West Shepard as did John Sutton II affiliated as a Sabbath Day School teacher for the Church and a Victor Walangitan whose specific affiliation was unclear. It was later revealed that Sutton is a resident of Coloma and Walangitan lives in Watervliet. The validity of the Indonesian SDAC was established at the prior workshop to the council’s satisfaction. Communications City Hall will be closed in observance of Good Friday, March 30; brush and leaf pickup is May 1-11; hydrant flushing is May 14-18; spring cleanup April 25 for large garbage pickup
Ambulance Report Pride Care Ambulance head Bill Mears attended briefly to address a question that came up at the prior workshop regarding the use of Covert Ambulance as stand-by. Mears reported that only twice in the prior month had Pride Care requested Covert to go on stand-by status, despite rumors to the contrary.
Old business: Marion Avenue property The Council voted in the affirmative to accept bids on the 9.7 acres of city property ID #80-52-816-045-00, located West of 210 Marion Avenue, with a minimum bid of $50,000. New business A donation to the Hartford Lions Club in the amount of $1,000 for Concerts in the Park was approved unanimously. Also approved was the new City Right of Way Policy, Permit Application and Fee Schedule. Resolution 2018-003A (Corrected) Senior Services Millage for the August Ballot was approved unanimously. Having no further business, Mayor Hall adjourned the meeting at 8:28 p.m. The council next meets for the monthly workshop session on Monday, April 16.
Historical Museum will have Civil War Days! during spring break
On Saturday, April 7 from 1-3 p.m., the North Berrien Historical Museum will host a free kids Spring Time Traveler program about life during the Civil War. Rewind the clocks to the 1860s during the Civil War. Learn what life was like for the men, women, and children who lived during this time. Highlights of the day include: meeting a Union Soldier and seeing all the supplies he had to carry; meeting a Union Housewife and learning how she would run her household while her husband was away fighting; discovering what kids did for fun by playing 1800s games; meeting a civil war doctor and learning how he would care for his patients; and learning how both men and women worked as spies for the Union and making your own secret messages. This program is FREE and designed for ages 6-12 and their families! For questions, contact the museum at (269) 468-3330 or by email at email@example.com.
Historical Museum opens new exhibit on local banks
A new exhibit is now on display at the North Berrien Historical Museum. The first display you will see as you walk through the front entrance now reads “Early Banks of North Berrien.” Learn which local institution once printed national currency and which bank began as a father and son operation in their flouring mill store. This exhibit features many photos and artifacts from these early banks including, the original alarm that was installed at the State Bank of Coloma in 1913. The Museum is open Tuesdays – Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is always FREE. For questions, contact the Museum at (269)468-3330 or Info@northberrienhistory.org.
Free seminar in Watervliet to discuss treatment options for arthritis
Community members are invited to join orthopedic surgeon, Jeffrey Postma, DO, for a free educational seminar titled “Is Arthritis Limiting Your Ability to Enjoy Life?” The seminar will be held on Thursday, April 12 at Lakeland Hospital Watervliet, located at 400 Medical Park Drive. Light refreshments will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by a one-hour presentation from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. During the seminar, Dr. Postma will discuss the various types of arthritis and the latest approaches to treating this common condition. “Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are many treatment options available to manage pain and help you stay active,” said Dr. Postma. Preregistration is encouraged; walk-ins are welcome. For more information, or to register, call (269) 927-5361 or visit www.communityboneandjoint.org/arthritis.
Watervliet Auxiliary holding Swiss Steak Dinner in April
Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet Auxiliary will host their semi-annual Swiss Steak Dinner Saturday, April 14, 2018 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The dinner will be held at the North Berrien Senior Center, 6648 Ryno Road in Coloma. The cost to attend is $10 for adults and $5 for children 7 and under. All proceeds from the dinner will be used for Auxiliary projects.
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