PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission will be voting Tuesday evening on whether or not to impose of a moratorium of 180 days on granting any permit allowing retail dispensaries, cultivators, or processors of medical marijuana within the city of Piqua. The resolution will also be declared an emergency, and if approved, will take effect immediately.
Ohio’s medical marijuana bill will go into effect on Sept. 8. Gov. John Kasich signed the bill on June 9. The law would allow patients to use marijuana in vapor form for certain chronic health conditions, but ban them from smoking it or growing it at home.
Under the law, cities and towns could choose to ban dispensaries or limit the number of them. Licensed cultivators, processors, dispensaries, and testing laboratories cannot be within 500 feet of schools, churches, public libraries, playgrounds, or parks. Employers could continue to enforce drug-testing policies and maintain drug-free workplaces. Banks that provide services to marijuana-related entities would be protected from criminal prosecution.
The city of Troy approved a similar moratorium last month. According to the city of Piqua’s resolution, the moratorium is meant “to preserve the public peace, health, safety, and welfare” of Piqua residents.
The commission also will vote on a contract to paint the CSX railroad bridge. The railroad bridge extends over Ash Street (U.S. Route 36). If approved, the contract would be awarded to APBN, Inc. at a cost of $221,000, which includes a 10 percent contingency. In addition to surface preparation of the existing structural steel bridge and repainting it, the contract includes sealing the concrete surfaces at the ends of the bridge. The project will also consist of traffic maintenance, including lane closures on East Ash Street needed to complete this work.
The city would also have to enter into a right of entry and indemnity agreement with CSX Transportation, Inc. for the painting of the CSX railroad bridge. According to the staff report, CSX Transportation has to review the plans for the project and must provide construction engineering and inspection as well as flagging services. The city also has to comply with the safety, insurance, environmental, and other requirements of CSX Transportation. The cost of the agreement is $52,180, which includes a 10 percent contingency.
The cost of both the contract to paint the railroad bridge and the agreement with CSX Transportation will be funded through the city’s General Fund. If approved, the work will be completed this fall.
In old business, the commission will hear the second reading of an ordinance to levy special assessments to pay for the cost of nuisance abatement assessments. The majority of nuisance abatements on the list are for grass cutting.
The cost of some of the assessments are as low as $40 and as high as $800 against property owners in cases where the city has been forced to take care of a nuisance on that property, such as high grass. There are also varying fees due to a provision in the ordinance that has escalating fees for repeat offenders.
The commission will also announce the following Residence Pride Award winners during their meeting:
• Katie and Josh Maxwell of 917 Young St.
• Deb Ruemmele and Stacy Stang of 621 Caldwell St.
• Tonya Bair of 428 S. Roosevelt Ave.
• Beverly and Clark Brown of 321 Boone St.
• Sarah Johnson of 1515 Nicklin Ave.
The next commission meeting will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 2, at 7:30 p.m. It will take place in commission chambers at the municipal building, located at 201 W. Water St., Piqua.
Melanie Yingst contributed to this story. Reach Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336.