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City ponders zoning for medical marijuana

Where in the City of Jackson should medical marijuana be grown, manufactured, tested and sold? These are questions that were discussed by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen April 15.

City Attorney Tom Ludwig brought an example of a medical marijuana zoning ordinance to the Board in study session. The ordinance will go to the Planning and Zoning Commission. P&Z will make any changes it wants to the proposed ordinance and then will send it back to the Board of Aldermen for further changes and approval.

“I tried to keep it pretty simple,” Ludwig said. “We have the power to tell a business where they can put it [the business] in the city.”

In the preliminary ordinance, medical marijuana dispensaries are treated in the same manner as drug stores. They will be allowed in commercial zones, but must be at least 100 feet away from daycares, schools and church-es — the same restriction that is put on liquor stores. Growing, manufacturing and testing will be allowed only in industrial zones.

The State of Missouri intends to begin issuing licenses for medical marijuana on Aug. 3, so the City wants its ordinance on the books by then. Both the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Aldermen will have public hearings before they vote on the ordinance.

The matter was sent to P&Z for its consideration.

In other action:

• Election: The Board accepted the certified results of the April 2 municipal election. Later, the re-elected mayor and aldermen took the oath of office. They included Mayor Dwain Hahs and Aldermen Paul Sander, Wanda Young, David Hitt, Kathleen Liley and Tommy Kimbel.

• Groundwater monitoring: The Board authorized a contract with PAJCO, Inc., and Smith & Co. Engineers, to have a groundwater monitoring well dug on City property in front of the Police Department and Fire Station 1 Complex. The well will be used to ensure that groundwater contamination from the old Rhodes 101 gas station did not cross under Highway 72 onto City property. So far, tests have indicated that any contaminants in the soil have moved east toward the creek.

• Public hearing set: A public hearing was set for 6 p.m. Monday, May 6, to consider the rezoning of an unaddressed 3.34 acre tract of property at the east end of Ridge Road, north of 4002 Ridge Road and adjacent to I-55 from C-2 (general commercial) and CO-1 (enhanced commercial overlay) to R-2 (single-family residential), as submitted by Litz Brothers, Inc.

• July 4 celebration: Parks and Recreation Director Shane Anderson updated the Board on plans for the July 4 celebration in City Park. It will be similar to last year’s celebration with 30-40 mud volleyball teams, a big car show, about 20 food vendors, and the Jaycees slip-n-slide.

Anderson said he wants to have a three-year-contract with the fireworks vendor, because the City will get more product for the price, or more “bang for the buck.”

Details for the day will be finalized soon.

• Park Day: Anderson also mentioned that Park Day will be April 27, beginning at 8 a.m. at Pavilion No. 1 in City Park. Volunteers who help clean up the park will be treated to breakfast and will receive t-shirts. “We go to all five parks that day,” Anderson said. If people want to help but can’t on that day, other days are available for them, Anderson said.

• Soccer park lighting: During study session, Director of Electric Utilities Don Schuette announced that it would cost approximately $170,000 in materials to light the soccer fields. Rather than do it all at once, it will be done in two phases.

The cost was recalculated using aluminum instead of copper wiring, and the cost was cut in half. This includes 112 lights.

Discussions will continue between the Soccer League and the City.

• Roundabout: The Board was updated on the progress of the roundabout at Shawnee Boulevard and East Main Street. Plans have been finalized enough to begin land acquisitions. Three property owners are involved. Land must be acquired on all four quadrants.

It was also announced that the installation of traffic signals and the squaring-up of the intersection of East Main Street and Oak Hill Road will be completed by the end of May.

• Learn Your Ward: In study session, Public Works Director Kent Peetz described a public relations campaign to educate and involve citizens in the Public Works Department. Called “Walk Jackson 2019,” the program will involve fun, fitness and prizes. See next week’s CBJ for more details.

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at

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