BARODA — Add Baroda Township to the list of municipalities that don’t want a marijuana store within its boundaries.
There was a chorus of “no’s” from Baroda Township Board members on Monday when Supervisor Jim Brow asked whether they wanted to table a proposed ordinance forbidding sales within the township, for more discussion.
The board unanimously approved the ordinance. “Make sure that gets in the paper,” Trustee John Harner told a reporter after the meeting.
Michigan voters on Nov. 6 voted to make marijuana legal in the state. Brow cited reports from Colorado, which legalized marijuana several years ago, saying the effects there include more homeless people and more traffic fatalities.
Colorado school officials said the effects have been “worse than they feared,” Brow said. “A lot of negatives, but no positives.”
The Baroda Village Council and a number of other municipalities in Southwest Michigan have also approved ordinances forbidding sales.
Also Monday, the board discussed how to encourage Berrien County officials to paint “no passing” stripes on Cleveland Avenue between Lemon Creek and Shawnee roads.
With a lot of traffic around the Baroda Party Store and the soon-to-be open Dollar General along Cleveland, the traffic is getting dangerous, Treasurer Brenda Troxell said.
Troxell said the Berrien County Road Department told her “we’ll keep an eye on it. Means they’re not going to do anything until there’s an accident.”
Clerk Wendie Shafer and other board members said residents should report any incidents in that area to road officials.
In other matters, Trustee David Wolf, a Baroda-Lake Township Police Board member, said the police department would like to replace several part-time officers with one full-time officer.
That would cost $75,000 a year, and Lake Township would put in $50,000 of that, Wolf said. Baroda Township would have to come up with $25,000, and it would have to come from the general fund, he added.
“We don’t have it,” Troxell said. “It would be nice, especially since marijuana passed. We don’t have the money. It’s not there.”
Wolf said he will report the board’s position at tonight’s Lake Township Board meeting.
In addition, the board “with deep regret” accepted Shafer’s resignation as clerk, effective Dec. 31, after over 17 years of service.
“I’m not looking forward to this,” Brow said about the motion to approve her resignation. “Do we have to approve it?”
Brow said he and Shafer started work in Baroda on the same day.
“I always said when she left, I would,” Brow said. “So I talked it over with my wife, and she said, ‘Why don’t you keep on working for awhile?’”
The board also voted to not allow township firefighters to drive Medic 1 ambulances, unless they get Medic 1 driving training or are somehow indemnified.
Fire Chief Larry Klug said firefighters recently were helping at an accident scene which involved a badly injured victim. Both medics decided they should work in the back of the ambulance and help the victim, and asked if one of the firefighters would drive the ambulance to the emergency room.
The department’s insurance carrier said that’s a risky idea, Klug said. So until they get training, firefighters will be allowed to help the victim in the ambulance but not to drive it.
The board also approved $300 in costs for deputy clerk Christina Price to attend a training class in Grand Rapids, and naming Peter Van Vooren to a new term on the township Planning Commission.