Amenia discusses "opting-in" on cannabis dispensaries

Town Board continues discussion of of state regulations

AMENIA — Preliminary discussion over whether or not the town will “opt in” to state regulations that guide the opening and operation of a local cannabis dispensary continued at the regular meeting of the Town Board on Thursday, March 21.

Town Supervisor Leo Blackman introduced the discussion, noting that to move ahead on zoning questions related to location of a dispensary, the board might need the services of a town planner.

The potential cost for those services was estimated at about $30,000, but following exploratory discussion, it was clear that any planner would need more project detail, particularly state and local restrictions to be imposed.

Following brief discussion, the board agreed that potential locations would be identified in advance of the next Town Board meeting on Thursday, April 4.

Board member Brad Rebillard mentioned required setbacks from roadways.

“It should not be in the town center,” said board member Rosanna Hamm, leading to general agreement that a possible site might be within a shopping plaza. Adequate parking will also be a consideration.

More from Amenia

— The March 21 Town Board meeting included a welcome to interim member Nicole Ahearn, appointed to fill the seat vacated by Leo Blackman when he won election to the post of Town Supervisor.

— In response to a request from the Housatonic Valley Association (HVA), the board voted unanimously to provide a letter of support for a grant application the HVA is preparing. If successful, the grant would fund work to improve conditions along and within Wassaic Creek.

“It’s an effort to clear up flooding issues,” Blackman explained.

The Town Board also unanimously approved a resolution to adopt the HVA Ten-Mile River Watershed Management Plan. The plan formalizes a collaboration among 15 towns in two states to preserve and protect waterways within their region.

— Speeding traffic in the vicinity of the Maplebrook School crosswalk was a public safety issue raised by Hamm, who had determined that the Department of Transportation (DOT) could be asked to install speed control devices, but they would need a resolution from the board.

Blackman indicated that he would schedule a meeting with the DOT. Hamm suggested that Maplebrook School should issue a letter of concern and support to assist in the effort.

— Recent years have seen deterioration of the Town Hall gym floor, leading the Town Board to consider options for replacement; in 2023, the Town Board obtained repair or replacement estimates.

Presently, the gym floor tiles are cracking and unstable.

At a regular Town Board meeting on Thursday, March 21, Town Supervisor Leo Blackman noted that the tiles now in place rest on top of plywood.

Under the plywood is a solid maple floor. Under the maple floor is another layer of plywood.

An option to refinish the maple floor was estimated to cost $27,000. A vinyl floor could run up to $55,000, but vinyl wears out, Blackman said. A poured floor of Herculan seamless floors made from synthetic polyurethane- — a.k.a. plastic — is estimated to cost $39,500, but an advantage is that the floor would offer a cushioned surface.

The board voted unanimously to ask the board attorney, Ian Lindars, to draft a resolution to be discussed at the next meeting, which will take place Thursday, April 4.

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