City won’t allow marijuana businesses in residential areas

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Council will reopen discussion on water security deposits 

On Thursday, the Ironton City Council held a public meeting about marijuana businesses being allowed to operate in residential areas.

Only one person attended, but was more interested in learning how to set up his own business, rather than the ordinance itself.

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That was the final step for Ordinance 23-82 which would not allow “marijuana businesses for the growing and/or dispensing of marijuana be prohibited in R-1, R-1A, R-2, and R-3 districts of the City, other than for personal use,” which means that those businesses could not be in the areas of Ironton that are designated as residential areas.

When the council met in regular session at 6 p.m., that ordinance was untabled and the council voted to pass the measure.

The ordinance was brought before the council in December because, in the November election, voters passed State Issue 2 which allows adults 21 and over to buy and possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and to grow up to six plants per individual or 12 plants per household at home. The state legislature has until July to set up a system for marijuana sales, which will have a 20 percent sales.

The council had previously passed a resolution supporting state legislation that would permit municipalities to share in marijuana tax revenue since those cities would be providing services like police and fire protection.

There were two items on the agenda, the 2024 temporary budget, which passed, and a five-year contract with Rumpke for hauling away and disposing of sludge, grit and street sweepings for the wastewater plant.

For 2024, the costs are as follows: $21,000 per dumpster of sludge, grit or sweepings and $47.50 per ton of sludge, $29 per ton of grit or street sweepings. 

Per the contract, the fee rate will increase every year.

Council member Jacob Hock told council he requested an opinion piece from the city’s legal counsel about Ordinance 19-09 which established security deposits for water service the city provides.

“I saw some issues with it and the Andersons (the city’s attorneys) responded that the ordinance should be reviewed by council and rewritten,” he said. He gave the other members of council information on how other cities do their security deposits. “I know there have been a discussion before on lower rates for people on fixed incomes and there has been discussion on whether it should be in the property owner’s name. I think it would be useful for us to have a discussion on this at some point because good legislation is clear and concise and this legislation is not.”

The council agreed to have a public utilities committee meeting on the subject before the next meeting.

The Ironton City Council meets again on Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. on the third floor of the Ironton City Center.

There will be a parks and recreation committee meeting at 5:15 on Feb. 22 regarding a possible downtown basketball tournament. There will be a finance committee meeting after the parks and rec meeting to discuss permanent city budget and salary negotiations.