Covington bans medical marijuana facilities

By Sam Wildow -

COVINGTON — Covington Council approved a prohibition against medical marijuana facilities being located within the village during their meeting Monday evening.

The approved ordinance bans retail dispensaries, cultivators, or processors of medical marijuana in the village’s zoning code, prohibiting them locating within the village.

The ordinance was passed after three readings by a vote of 5-0, with council member Lois Newman being absent.

None of the council members commented on the ordinance prior to the vote. At their previous meeting, Village Administrator Mike Busse noted the surrounding communities that have gone this route to ban medical marijuana facilities from locating in their muncipalities, adding, “I personally think we’re on the right track here.”

This ordinance came as a recommendation from the Covington Planning and Zoning Board.

While medical marijuana was legalized in September 2016, the Ohio medical marijuana program is expected to be operational by September 2018. The state adopted rules for cultivators of medical marijuana in May, but rules for processors, testing laboratories, dispensaries, patients, and caregivers are expected to be adopted this month.

Also during the meeting, a resident came forward with a complaint about a residence on the 700 block of North High Street with over a dozen cats. The resident, Rodger Collins, noted that the cats are creating messes and suggested that they have been upsetting breathing problems that his wife and he have.

“It’s unbearable,” Collins said.

Covington Chief of Police Lee Harmon said that an officer responded to the residence Monday and that the officer has since contacted the Miami County Health Department.

During the mayor’s report, Mayor Ed McCord discussed a meeting held between representatives of Covington schools and the village where one of the items they discussed was School Resource Officer Tim Cline.

“The school is very happy with the school resource officer,” McCord said, adding that Cline works well with the community and that employees at the schools “felt very secure” with his presence. “I think as council members you should be very proud you started the school resource officer program.”

McCord and Busse also discussed the community park, including maintenance issues. Busse said that they will have to do something about the fencing at the park due to increased vandalism.

“We’ve had them broken in the past, never to the level we had this summer,” Busse said. “There’s other maintenance issues at the park just because it’s aging.”

The village has also cleaned up trees at the park that have fallen due to storms over the summer, and they will be removing a cottonwood stump later this week.

Busse said that they are hoping to create a five-year plan for the village’s park system and that they will need direction from council on that plan in the future. This plan could include taking ownership of the former middle school site, as McCord said he spoke with Covington schools about keeping the village in mind when figuring out how to repurpose the site.

In regard to other items of legislation on their agenda, the council approved an amended records retention policy for the village. This records retention policy addresses how long to keep a number of types of documents available in the village government, including council and administrative records, emails, employee records, police department files, financial records, and more.

The council also approved amending the contract amount for Ticon Paving for the 2017 repaving program from the original contract price of $101,406.50 to $125,699.97. The change in the contract amount reflected quantity changes due to additional work for the Safe Routes to School restoration, the grade changes at Wenrick and Ludlow streets, and the High Street patches.

The council also heard the first readings on ordinances to approve assessments to send to the county auditor for reimbursement for the 2017 sidewalk and curb programs at a total amount of $15,986.78, the 2017 property maintenance program for a total amount of $500, and the 2018 street light program for a total amount of $45,000. The assessment for the street light program remains the same as last year. The cost of the assessments will be put onto the property taxes of the property owners responsible for them.

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336