BARODA — If Michigan voters today approve Proposal 1 legalizing marijuana in the state, Baroda will be ready for it.
The Baroda Village Council on Monday agreed to pay the Dickinson Wright law firm $700 for a “one size fits all” ordinance that would allow the village to regulate some marijuana activities if Proposal 1 passes.
“We have to have something,” Trustee Steve Jasper said. “Unless you want a marijuana store in Baroda,” council President Bob Getz agreed.
Getz said he expects voters will approve Proposal 1. Dickinson Wright, in Grand Rapids, doesn’t have the sample ordinance ready quite yet, but will have it shortly, he said.
“They’re studying what the proposal is, and how the state may regulate it, and come up with an ordinance that coincides with the state as to how they’re going to regulate it,” Getz said after the meeting.
As to why the council wanted to act so promptly, Getz said no one knows when Proposal 1 would go into effect.
“That’s kind of a wild card,” Getz said. “No one knows for sure. It’s been what, seven years since medical marijuana passed in Michigan, and they’re just starting to get to regulations. How soon they’re going to regulate it, I don’t know.”
A local ordinance could not prevail over state law, but would give Baroda the right to “ban the sale of (marijuana) downtown in a store front,” Getz said. “I believe you can even allow the marijuana, but ban the edibles.”
However, if Proposal 1 passes, “You can still go in your house, whatever the state allows, and smoke it,” Getz said. “We can’t stop that.”
Also Monday, the council approved building roads and installing water lines in the village’s Industrial Park.
The project will cost the village $241,000 for the water lines, and the road work will cost $401,600. The village did get a $95,000 Rural Development grant to help with that part, Getz said.
The council rejected an accompanying street scape project on First Street that would have hiked costs considerably. That much of a money commitment “makes me nervous,” Getz said.
The vote for the Industrial Park was unanimous, though it obviously caused Jasper some discomfort.
“I guess,” Jasper said when asked to vote.
“Yes or no?” Getz pressed him.
“Well, in the middle,” Jasper replied. “Ah ... yes.”
The work should start in the spring, Getz said.
In other matters, the council approved a 4 percent hike in sewer rates, starting Jan. 1.
Getz said 1 percent of the hike will go into a fund for storm water drainage repairs. Clerk Tina Martin said the hike, suggested by a consultant, was supposed to go into effect in January.
Jasper cast the lone dissenting vote against the hike. “I know rate increases are hard to chew,” Getz said.
The council also approved the concept of a countywide transportation system. Getz said there a number of elderly people in the village who could use such a system.
The council approved paying up to $1,200 to get a spare sewer pump repaired, agreed to spend $389 for a new time clock for public works employees, and approved hiring a part-time worker at $15 an hour to help with snow plowing this winter.