A discussion for a fee to be implemented on marijuana businesses drew a crowd to the Hines Common Council meeting, held Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 6:30 p.m.
The proposal, submitted by City Administrator Judy Erwin at the direction of the Hines Common Council, would increase the existing $75 fee to $5,000, based on figures gathered from Huntington. Erwin stated that the implementation of marijuana-related businesses had added additional man-hours, attorney fees, phone calls, and time for which the city was responsible.
Julie Beitzel, owner of Tumbleweed Cannabis Co., stated that, while she didn’t feel that the comparison to Huntington was accurate in terms of business and customer numbers, she had no problem with the increased fee, and felt that cannabis businesses needed to do their part to support the community and council.
Other citizens protested the fee, as they felt that Huntington’s marijuana sales were not an accurate comparison for Hines.
The council tabled the issue, stating that they still believed there should be a fee, but ultimately felt that $5,000 was too expensive.
In further marijuana business, the council passed Ordinance No. 317 –– an ordinance amending sections of Ordinance 295, regarding marijuana business permits and time and manner restrictions for marijuana business; and declaring an emergency, with an amendment to Section H. The approved amendment, passed with a vote of 3-2, now states that all instances of “1,000 feet” within Section H, be changed to “2,000 feet.” The amendment also adds that new marijuana-related businesses cannot be built within 2,000 feet of residential zones or other marijuana-related businesses.
Section H now states:
“Business Location. A dispensary or retail sales outlet must not be located:
(a) at the same address as a marijuana grow site,
(b) within 2,000 feet of the real property comprising a public or private elementary, secondary, and/or career school attended primarily by minors,
(c) within 2,000 feet of a park where minors are known to congregate,
(d) within 2,000 feet of a residential zone,
(e) within 2,000 feet of another dispensary or retail sales outlet, and/or in any area not expressly permitted under the City of Hines Code of Ordinances. A marijuana processor, producer or wholesaler must not be located within 2,000 feet of a residential zone. “Within 2,000 feet” means a straight line measurement in a radius extending for 2,000 feet or less in every direction from any point on the boundary line of the real property specified above. ”
All existing marijuana-related businesses will be grandfathered in, and will not be affected by the amendment.
The council also voted to select a water rate increase. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2018, a $4 increase per billing cycle will be applied to each resident’s water bill. Construction on the new water system will begin in 2019.
The council is still hoping to receive grants that will help defray the costs of the new water system. However, they felt that gradually increasing water bills would help residents adjust to the higher price.
Police Chief Ryan DeLange distributed a press release concerning Shelly Hubeek, who is in custody for several charges, including: murder, manslaughter I, manslaughter II, assault I, and assault II.
He also stated that there had been a rise in the number of vehicle break-ins, and urged residents to lock their vehicles. He requested that citizens not leave belongings within their vehicles, as windows had been broken to access items left in cars and trucks.
“Make sure they don’t have anything to steal,” DeLange stated.
DeLange said he was pleased that the city of Hines had voted to ban kratom, as there have now been kratom-related deaths recorded within the United States.
In reporting the police department’s work with drug-related cases, DeLange stated, “The meth problem is out of control, we’re fighting as much as we can, but it’s every day and we don’t know what to do.”
DeLange added that meth and theft cases go hand-in-hand, leading the department to experience a rise in both cases.
He then reported that the instances of counterfeit money were on the rise again and that several businesses had been affected.
In other business, the council:
• appointed Councilor John Mims to the EMS Advisory Committee;
• approved a request for Chief DeLange to attend training in Seaside Jan. 16-18;
• approved Resolution 2234 –– a resolution accepting certain identified unanticipated revenue and authorizing its expenditure – police department seatbelt and speed grant;
• approved the amended Resolution 2233 –– a resolution adopting a supplemental budget for fiscal year 2017-2018. The amendment was made to fix a “typo” in the wording;
• tabled the donation of the Tassie properties, after a brief discussion;
• welcomed Tim Banks and Seth Grigg, members of the local boy scout troop. Banks and Grigg attended the meeting as a requirement for a citizenship in the community merit award;
• heard a report from Erwin concerning the Hines lighting contest winners. Erwin then reported that she’d spoken with a representative from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) concerning the deer within city limits. It was stated by the ODFW that Hines would not receive assistance for the deer problem if residents were baiting and feeding the deer. As such, Erwin stated that she would be instructing the police department to aggressively pursue those residents who fed and lured the deer.
“We’ve got to stop that if we want anything done” Erwin stated;
• heard a comment from Councilor Diane Rapaport concerning city council rules of procedure. She questioned why the council discussed a decision, then made a motion, then a second; whereas most councils make a motion, a second, then discuss the issue. Mayor Nikki Morgan stated she did not know why Hines operated the way it did, but the council could look into changing their rules of procedure;
• heard a report from Fire Chief Bob Spence who stated the department had received 11 calls since the last meeting. These calls included house fires, major vehicle accidents, and accidental calls. He stated that the fires had been caused by flues, chimneys, wood near stove pipes, and covered baseboard heaters. He also stated that the fire department had received a grant for new radios for the vehicles;
• heard a report from Acting Maintenance Supervisor Jerry Lewellen, who stated his department had been reading meters, and was preparing to replace many of them. He also stated the department had been cleaning clogged sewers, the primary cause of which are roots and baby wipes. Lewellen reported that they had received a new portable backup for the computer system. Erwin also mentioned that it had been recommended that the city replace the entire system to bring it up to date.
The next regularly scheduled Hines Common Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the Hines City Hall.