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STEVENSVILLE — Stevensville residents can hear and comment on a proposal to allow marijuana retailers in the village during a public hearing Monday.

The hearing will be at 6 p.m. at the village hall, 5768 St. Joseph Ave. Trustees are expected to vote on the proposed ordinance changes during their Wednesday meeting at the village hall.

Village Manager Kacey Dominguez said the idea of allowing one to two marijuana retailers to open in the village came about over the summer during discussions on how to raise money to fix the village’s roads.

In July, Abonmarche gave the village a summary of the village’s roads based on an evaluation done the previous year using the Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating (PASER) system. The evaluation found that most of the streets in the village were in fair or poor condition, with less than 12 percent rated as good.

“It is about a $5 million price tag when looking at all the roads and what kind of work that needs to be done,” Dominguez said.

She said raising $5 million for a small village with an annual budget of $400,000 is “unsurmountable” without an additional revenue source.

The PASER Roads Report is available on the village’s website under the Public Works Department page, www.villageofstevensville.us.

Dominguez said 100 percent of revenue raised from the proposed marijuana retailers would be used to fix the roads.

She said another option trustees considered was raising millage rates on property taxes. She said an increase of 1.5 mills would be needed to raise the same amount of money the village would receive annually from the state sales tax for one marijuana retail business.

In 2021, she said the state paid municipalities about $60,000 for each retail license. In 2022, she said that amount is expected to be raised to $80,000 per retail license.

A 1.5-mill increase would raise property taxes by $150 a year on homes with taxable values of $100,000, Dominguez said.

She said the proposed ordinances would only allow marijuana retailers – and not marijuana growers, processors, safety compliant facilities or secure transporters.

“It’s been a very thoughtful process,” she said. “It wasn’t something that we’ve done lightly. We’ve done a lot of research and talked with other municipalities that have gone through this and really created our ordinances to address any issues that other places have found. It was a last resort of figuring out how we get our roads done.”

She said the marijuana retail businesses would only be allowed in C-1 areas and had to be at least 500 feet from a school or church and 2,500 feet from each other. She said that limits the businesses to being placed on Red Arrow Highway.

Contact: lwrege@TheHP.com, 932-0361, Twitter: @HPWrege

Staff Writer at The Herald-Palladium