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Repealing marijuana bans on hold until April election

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The Orchard City Town Board acting at its regular monthly meeting on Sept. 13 voted to rescind its previous decision to proceed with repealing current bans on marijuana business in town.

The town board also voted to place three referred measures on the April 2018 ballot asking voters to decide on new revenue measures for town government. The three measures will be yes-or-no questions about implementing a sales tax in town; implementing a property tax in town; and, allowing marijuana business that would produce tax revenue for town government.

As discussed by trustees at the meeting, each of the three separate questions will propose raising specific amounts of revenue sufficient to meet the town board's view of future need for money to maintain town roads, pay for law enforcement contracted with the county sheriff, and other needs.

Town resident Tim Hinz, a prominent opponent of repealing the current marijuana business bans, told the trustees that "I will work with you" in pursuing a sales or property tax for additional town revenue.

In other business at its Sept. 13 meeting, the Orchard City Town Board dealt with the following matters:

• Nancy Hovde of HopeWest requested a $1,000 donation from the town. She reported that HopeWest has served 171 hospice patients, 26 palliative care patients, 23 child-teen grief patients, and 27 adult grief patients this year. The group's annual Gala raised $76,000, she said, and added it takes, on average, $1,000 for each patient it serves.

• The board approved an ordinance specifying procedures for disconnecting (sometimes also called de-annexing) land from the town by ordinance.

• The water committee updated progress on the $1 million project to install a new filter cell at the treatment plant and on the GPS project to locate all water utility features.

• The roads committee report noted that the town has a surplus dump truck for sale.

• The parks committee report noted that the town would like to have trees donated for Town Park, and also that the irrigation system repairs are making watering more efficient and less costly.

• Constituent Doug Keller read to the board quotations from Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John F. Kennedy on the duty and responsibility of citizens to vigorously question government and its actions.

• The board voted to send a letter of support to the Delta Urban Renewal Authority on its idea for riverfront development.

• The town board approved a retail liquor store license renewal for Delirious Liquors.

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