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.

Latest News

Walking among the ‘Herd’

Michel Negreponte

Submitted

‘Herd,” a film by Michel Negreponte, will be screening at The Norfolk Library on Saturday April 13 at 5:30 p.m. This mesmerizing documentary investigates the relationship between humans and other sentient beings by following a herd of shaggy Belted Galloway cattle through a little more than a year of their lives.

Negreponte and his wife have had a second home just outside of Livingston Manor, in the southwest corner of the Catskills, for many years. Like many during the pandemic, they moved up north for what they thought would be a few weeks, and now seldom return to their city dwelling. Adjacent to their property is a privately owned farm and when a herd of Belted Galloways arrived, Negreponte realized the subject of his new film.

Keep ReadingShow less
Fresh perspectives in Norfolk Library film series

Diego Ongaro

Photo submitted

Parisian filmmaker Diego Ongaro, who has been living in Norfolk for the past 20 years, has composed a collection of films for viewing based on his unique taste.

The series, titled “Visions of Europe,” began over the winter at the Norfolk Library with a focus on under-the-radar contemporary films with unique voices, highlighting the creative richness and vitality of the European film landscape.

Keep ReadingShow less
New ground to cover and plenty of groundcover

Young native pachysandra from Lindera Nursery shows a variety of color and delicate flowers.

Dee Salomon

It is still too early to sow seeds outside, except for peas, both the edible and floral kind. I have transplanted a few shrubs and a dogwood tree that was root pruned in the fall. I have also moved a few hellebores that seeded in the near woods back into their garden beds near the house; they seem not to mind the few frosty mornings we have recently had. In years past I would have been cleaning up the plant beds but I now know better and will wait at least six weeks more. I have instead found the most perfect time-consuming activity for early spring: teasing out Vinca minor, also known as periwinkle and myrtle, from the ground in places it was never meant to be.

Planting the stuff in the first place is my biggest ever garden regret. It was recommended to me as a groundcover that would hold together a hillside, bare after a removal of invasive plants save for a dozen or so trees. And here we are, twelve years later; there is vinca everywhere. It blankets the hillside and has crept over the top into the woods. It has made its way left and right. I am convinced that vinca is the plastic of the plant world. The stuff won’t die. (The name Vinca comes from the Latin ‘vincire’ which means ‘to bind or fetter.’) Last year I pulled a bunch and left it strewn on the roof of the root cellar for 6 months and the leaves were still green.

Keep ReadingShow less