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Town of Lee discusses marijuana and sewage spills

Chris Jones: Greene Publishing, Inc.

The City of Lee held its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. The only new item on the agenda for the evening's meeting was a discussion on a medical marijuana dispensary moratorium. The Town of Lee, being its own municipality, cannot adopt the County moratorium and therefore must establish its own. Town Attorney Ernie Page provided the council with proposed moratorium conditions, fashioned to emulate those expected to be adopted by Madison County. He said it would behoove the Town to remain consistent with the County's stance on the law.

The moratorium would give the State of Florida time to appropriately establish rules and policies to govern the licensing and regulation of marijuana dispensaries. Council-member Edwin McMullen offered a motion to take action on a moratorium, Diane Beck seconded, and the motion was approved.  An official action will require two public hearings, each of which will be advertised to the public. An approved moratorium will give the Town of Lee and the State of Florida until mid-September to work out the complexities of the newly legalized medical marijuana and associated dispensaries. Until that time, medical marijuana is still legal to use, but illegal to dispense. Lee Mayor Eddie Bell noted that, concerning the governance of medical marijuana, there is “no control at all right now.”

Local resident and Trustee for Madison County's Amateur Radio Club, Jim Anderson, addressed the council, requesting they investigate unused radio and wi-fi equipment which was placed on the Town's water-tower in the past. He proposed that the equipment be donated to the Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES), which maintains VHF, UHF and HF radio stations at the Emergency Operations Center. The Council replied that they would investigate the contract agreements that led to the equipment's placement on the water-tower and revisit the issue at a later meeting.

District 5 County Commissioner Rick Davis addressed the Council on the County's efforts to combat the recent unlawful spills and leaks from the City of Valdosta into the Withlacoochee River. He  said the County intends to solicit the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council to coordinate the region's efforts at addressing the spills. The Regional Planning Council covers 13 counties, including Madison. “Hopefully we can get something started and put Valdosta on notice that this type of activity, although we have tolerated it somewhat in the past, hoping that they would resolve their issues, that time is coming to an end pretty quick,” said Commissioner Davis.

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