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Council conducts marijuana license hearings

by Eric Mullens
WALSENBURG —  The Walsenburg City Council sitting as the local marijuana licensing authority, conducted a pair of public hearings during their regular meeting Tuesday night.
The first hearing concerned the change of ownership of High Country Ranch LLC (limited liability company) regarding their cultivation operation at 1500 US Hwy. 85/87.  Oliver Edward Scaife III has become the sole owner, managing member of the LLC, with former partners Robert M. Hake and William A. Hake leaving the business.  There was no testimony either pro or con from the public. The change of ownership regarding the local license was approved on a unanimous 6-0 vote.  All members of the city council were present Tuesday night with the exception of Dennis Hoyt who is currently serving with the Red Cross.
The second public hearing concerned a new marijuana retail store license application from Wahatoya Farms LLC, dba MEDUSACO and concerns their property located at 25462 West US Hwy. 160.
Managing member J.R. Burrell and member Greg McClendon both appeared before the licensing authority and said the company will be allowing its cultivation license to expire and will concentrate their business plan on the proposed recreational retail marijuana store.
They indicated there will be no odor issue, as there will not be a grow operation at the location.  They also indicated their business plan calls for them to sell, as much as possible, recreational marijuana that is locally and legally grown in Walsenburg and Huerfano County.
There was no public pro or con testimony offered in the hearing.  Walsenburg’s Deputy City Clerk Wanda Britt testified to the legal publication and physical posting of the public hearing notices in both licensing hearings.
MEDUSACO will be the subject of another hearing when they apply for a Use by Special Permit from the Walsenburg Planning and Zoning Commission in the near future.  The business is located in a proper C-1 Commercial Zone and the city license will be granted after the planning and zoning recommendation is made and the state retail license is granted.  The local licensing authority ( city council) approved the license application in a 6 – 0 vote.
In other business:
• The city council approved the two-year agreement  (license to use city owned land) with Frank Kirkpatrick/ Universal Alliance of Communities, Inc. (Colo. 501-C-3 non-profit) for use of city property located near the county Waste Transfer Station for a wood cutting, composting, and leaf and limb all volunteer operation.
• Approved a city proclamation designating the week of July 23 – 29 as Art and Beautification Week in the city.  Mayor Jim Eccher read the proclamation into the record. Councilman Greg Daniels made a motion for the city to purchase one of the flower box planters for $150 as part of the downtown beautification effort being led by the Museum of Friends.  In addition to the flower box purchase, Daniels’ motion also included 50 one day passes to Walsenburg Wild Waters to be given to the children who participate in the flower box decorating.  The motion passed unanimously.
• Approved Resolution 18-R-05, which authorizes city administration to prepare a petition to the Colorado State Patrol formally requesting a hazardous materials route designation through the city.  The resolution passed on a unanimous vote.
• Adopted the Three-Mile Plan submitted by the planning and zoning commission.  The plan is unchanged from last year and was last updated in 2016.
Work session on train depot, 
Wild Waters water park will open May 26:
• Council discussed the rental agreement between the city and Huerfano County regarding the train depot.  Details will be worked out in the near future between the landlord/ tenant and a new lease agreement will be  prepared by the city attorney.
David Wise briefed the Walsenburg City Council Tuesday night on a proposed streetscape and infrastructure project during the council’s work session. Photo by Eric Mullens
•David Wise, Best and Brightest Intern gave a brief report on Walsenburg Wild Waters.  Wise will be the aquatic park manager this year and said opening day is planned for May 26.  He also gave an informal presentation seeking city council support of a streetscape/ infrastructure project that could be done in association with a planned CDOT overlay project for Hwy. 85/87.  He presented a brief outline of the streetscape project and proposed funding sources that could help cover the costs of underground utilities in the affected area.

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