Troy Council is Ready to Say No to Marijuana

by CYNTHIA KMETT

In a relatively quiet, but interesting, Troy City Council meeting last Monday, just before they were ready to end it, Councilmembers Dave Henderson and Ethan Baker stepped up and wanted to consider banning all new recreational marijuana enterprises in Troy.

Council had previously banned the expansion of medical marijuana in the city. According to Troy City Attorney Lori Grigg Bluhm, it will be up to a year before all the rules for the new recreational enterprises are established. It was pointed out by Mayor Dane Slater that Troy had voted “No” on recreational marijuana in the recent midterm election – 19,508 to 18,528. Those no votes were led by quite a wide margin among absentee voters.

Councilmember David Hamilton wondered if it was a bit early for council to be voting on this issue.

Instead of outright banning last Monday, Henderson and Baker made a motion for Bluhm to bring them an “opt-out” resolution as soon as it was a state certified win. It passed unanimously.

It’s worth noting, a city can opt out of recreational marijuana, and, if they like what they see, they can opt back in later. The opposite is not true. Once a city opts in they can’t just opt out and tell businesses, “We’re sorry, you have to close.”

In addition, Bluhm said state officials are indicating that the rules for recreational marijuana will be similar to those for medical marijuana. In other business, council approved the rules of procedure for its meetings as well as the Code of Ethics for both city council and the city’s boards and commissions. The mayor pro tem is a rotating position and this year those duties fall to Councilman Ethan Baker, who was sworn in to the job.

Then it was on to hearing about the plans for Phase II of Trails and Pathways in the city. You may remember that Phase I, which goes behind Walsh College and out to Livernois, is relatively new as of last August.

Now the planning committee led by DPW Director Kurt Bovensiep and Carlisle Wortman’s Lauren Carlson has a plan to get up to Long Lake with the trail. They have once again talked to the Troy School District, which definitely wants to continue as part of the trail. On the Wattles end of the trail, Bovensiep pointed out the city has a number of paper streets available for use and there also some sidewalks already in place.

To the north is the city’s DPW yard. Here Bovensiep pointed out there is a 40- foot wide easement, which legal staff indicates can be incorporated into the system. The huge Goodman property on Rochester Road is problematic, as the family that owns it hopes one day to put a manufacturing facility on this rather large piece of land.

So, Bovensiep was scouting the neighborhood and noticed a downsizing sale on a home. He stopped in and was told the home would be on the market in the near future. They apparently don’t have a problem selling to the City of Troy, and staff has already been in conversations with them.

Council liked what was presented, and the topic of applying for grants, once again, came up.

Three years ago the city was turned down twice by the state. Councilmember Ellen Hodorek noted that denial put the city’s plans three years behind. She didn’t want to see that happen again as this is a project that residents favor. Everyone agreed.

Bovensiep told them that he believed the money in the budget for the project – $750,000 for each of the next two years – would cover these plans.

Lauren Carlson explained how they would bring close neighbors into the fold and see how the city can make them stewards of the project.

Councilmember Ed Pennington said that anyone with a problem about the trails should take a walk on the Phase I trail, where they’ll be pleasantly surprised.