Paperwork delays city, marijuana cultivation facility deal

By Laura Schiermeier, Staff Writer
Posted 3/25/20

VIENNA — The closing on the deal with the medical marijuana cultivation facility at Vienna’s industrial development park has been pushed back to a later date.

At the Vienna City …

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Paperwork delays city, marijuana cultivation facility deal

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VIENNA — The closing on the deal with the medical marijuana cultivation facility at Vienna’s industrial development park has been pushed back to a later date.

At the Vienna City Council’s March meeting, Mayor Tyler “TC” James said Hippos LLC was scheduled to close on the deal on March 12. The council members said this would be done at an attorney’s office and until the paperwork was signed they could not release information about the deal to the public. Mayor James said he will have to sign the agreement.

However, last week City Clerk Sherry James said the March 12 meeting had been postponed to a later date because of some type of state paperwork requirement. She did not know the new date.

At the meeting, South Ward Alderwoman Brenda Davis said the city has not been told the plans by the company. “It’s a private business and they don’t have to tell us anything,” she said.

They talked about what the cultivation facility will look like and it was noted it will be in the large building that’s already there.

There was brief discussion about the price of a license for the medical marijuana cultivation facility and the council members said all businesses are charged at the same rate, which is $25. The city does charge $100 annually for a liquor license.

In other business at the council’s March meeting:

• At the beginning of the meeting, Alderwoman Davis, serving the council as acting mayor, called the meeting to order and made a motion to appoint TC James Mayor of Vienna. This was approved by the council members and James resigned his north ward alderman position and is once again the mayor.

Newcomer in 2020, Rita Juergens, was appointed a north ward alderwoman to fill the four-year term. Reva Hutchison resigned from her north ward alderwoman seat and was appointed to serve the three-year termed seat for the north ward.

Because of the actions taken by the council, there is no reason to participate in the municipal election as all council positions have been filled by those wishing to serve.

• Mayor James said he and alderwoman Davis attended the recent Vienna Chamber of Commerce (VCOC) meeting and said the chamber officers and others are working hard to make the chamber stronger. James said he learned you don’t have to be affiliated with business or organization to join the chamber. Any community minded person can join. The VCOC is trying to boost its membership numbers. Davis said they have reorganized.

James said they changed the meetings to the evening when more people can attend rather than in the middle of the day. Davis said there was a lot of discussion about things that can be done to draw people to Vienna and ideas for helping local businesses. The chamber wants to have events. “There was a lot of conversation,” Davis said. “I’m excited. Its good to have forward thinking people.”

• In old business, the council members reiterated their discussion from the previous meeting about enforcing and adhering to the city’s mobile home ordinance.

Mayor James said council members received an email and the consensus is that before a mobile home is put in Vienna, the owner has to bring it to the council first; it must receive approval from the city. Each placement has to be approved and the process involves a public meeting with a notice advertising the public meeting posted in the newspaper. The person placing the mobile home is responsible for the publication costs.

If the mobile home is replacing another mobile home, it still has to come through the council. The mayor said the council members added that if there are extenuating circumstances, the council can waive the public hearing to expedite the process and approve the mobile home’s placement on its own.

The existing ordinance was reworded. Davis said the council wanted the caveat of waiving the public hearing in case there is a catastrophic situation where someone would be homeless for a month as they waited for the public hearing process to proceed.

• Police Chief Shannon Thompson said there was a problem submitting the COPS grant application and he thinks the opportunity to apply is now lost. He said he submitted it twice and it was rejected both times. The problem was something to do with the city’s ID on the application site. ‘I doubt we will get it,” he told the council members.

Thompson was applying for the grant to help fund a full time officer. It was a matching grant.

• Davis said the council members need to think about starting on the budget process. The city’s fiscal year is July 1 through June 30.

• In the financial report, fund balances are: General Fund $18,434.63, Water Fund $52,863.66, Street Fund $54,775.16, and Sewer Fund $32,247.67.

Year-to-date revenues and expenditures per fund: General Fund revenues 248,171.16 and expenditures 217,341.28; Water Fund revenues 108,870.53 and expenditures 94,017.82; Street Fund revenues 73,075.53 and expenditures 31,472.73; and Sewer Fund revenues 55,159.09 and expenditures 20,889.27.

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