Residents have until Sept. 10 to make their opinions on a dispensary within the village known.
During the August 27 meeting the board heard that 68 people attended the public hearing held August 20 at St. Joseph Middle School.
Fruhling-Voges said that she felt the majority of the people at the public meeting were against the dispensary but there were a few who wanted the village to pursue it.
Fruhling-Voges said some people at the meeting wanted them to pursue a referendum and put an advisory question on the ballot.
“I personally think that would be a waste of time, money and energy,” she said. “Referendums are expensive to get on the ballot and I think the end result would be the same.”
Fruhling-Voges said she feels the village has been transparent in the process and held a public hearing on the matter. She also said that even if they had a referendum it would not take place before Jan. 1 when villages need to opt in or out.
Fruhling-Voges also pointed out the board doesn’t do referendums for every decision they have to make as a board.
Trustee Roy McCarty agreed and said he did not support a referendum because trustees were elected to make decisions for the village.
McCarty said he also wanted to opt out because there are too many unknowns with allowing a dispensary to open in the community.
Fruhling-Voges agreed and said she didn’t believe people currently buying marijuana illegally were going to buy it from a dispensary starting January 1. She is also concerned with the expense of creating ordinances and licensing systems for allowing a dispensary in town.
Fruhling-Voges said the board could direct Village Attorney Joe Lierman create an ordinance for the village to opt out and they could vote at the next meeting. However, Trustee Art Rapp said the board had agreed not to vote on the issue until Sept. 10 and for transparencies sake he thought that is what they needed to do. He also said he thought the village needed to find the cost of a referendum so they could tell the public how much it costs.
Lierman said if they voted for him to do an ordinance to
Trustee Max Painter saying he attended the public hearing and would vote down allowing a dispensary within the village but pointed out that the state has legalized it starting Jan. 1 and there isn’t anything the village can do to prevent people from using it in their homes.
Painter said that a lot of people were concerned with the effects of marijuana on users during the public meeting.
“That is a conversation that should have taken place in Springfield before it was approved,” he said.
Trustee Dan Davis asked if any business person has discussed opening a dispensary within the village.
The answer is no, said the mayor.
The board decided to wait until Sept. 10 to ask Lierman to create any ordinances and Rapp urged residents to make their voices known one way or another before then.