After holding a public hearing Tuesday, February 28, on the proposed CBD/THC moratorium, Houston County commissioners declined to pass the moratorium at the March 7 commission meeting. Instead, they directed Houston County Attorney Samuel Jandt to develop and present a regulation to the board. The ordinance would require another public hearing, thus, allowing residents time to share their opinions.
Commissioners spent most of the meeting discussing the proposed moratorium on the sale of edible cannabinoid products and/or hemp-derived tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) food and beverages within the county. Commissioner Chairman Dewey Severson moved, “Not to establish a moratorium but to direct the county attorney to present some type of regulation regarding how, where, and when the product would be sold. Which would include CDB and other THC products. It may include but not be limited to licensing, taxing, and enforcement of said ordinance.” The motion was seconded by Commissioner Eric Johnson. Motion passed with Commissioner Robert (Bob) Burns abstaining.
Regarding the proposed bill going through the legislature, Jandt summarized, “Time, place, and manner are what the county would have control over.”
During closing public comments, Caledonia resident Nick Meiners offered his opinion on the moratorium, “I think you guys are making the right move here. With the new bill going through, I hope you are not wasting too much of Sam’s time. With the new bill, it covers a lot of your guys’ concerns as far as packaging and a lot of that stuff. You guys will have control over time and place. I encourage you not to waste too much time or taxpayers’ money.”
Commissioner Severson called the meeting to order at 9 a.m. Severson led his fellow commissioners and the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commissioners in attendance included Chairman Dewey Severson, Eric Johnson, Robert (Bob) Burns, Bob Schuldt and Greg Myhre.
The meeting agenda was approved with two additions to the consent agenda. The board approved the minutes from the February 28 regularly scheduled meeting.
The consent agenda was approved in its entirety. Commissioners approved hiring Nikki Klemp as a nurse case manager and changed the employment status of Helen Olson and Nicole Karl from probationary to regular.
The board approved an off-site gambling permit for the District 300 Foundation. Donna Trehus, auditor/treasurer, noted that the Mound Prairie Township signed off on the application and that the Foundation requests the off-site gambling permit annually. The fundraising event will occur at the Valley High Golf Club, 9203 Mound Prairie Drive, Houston, on April 28.
Commissioners tabled Public Health & Human Services director, John Pugleasa’s request to use ARPA funding to replace the department’s aging computers and monitors. Pugleasa explained in his request, “We included the replacement of several surface computers and aging monitors in our 2023 budget. It has been suggested that ARPA could cover this expense. Additionally, the prices for these replacements have increased since the estimate used for the 2023 budget. The 2023 budget – $31,330.00 vs. the current cost estimate – $43,083.00.” The board will revisit Pugleasa’s request in a couple weeks after Finance Director Carol Lapham updates the county’s ARPA numbers.
The board adjourned the meeting at 9:42 a.m.
The next regularly scheduled Houston County Commission meeting is Tuesday, March 14, at 9 a.m. in the County Commission Board Room 222, located on the second floor in the historic county courthouse, Caledonia, or via the county conference call line (312) 626-6700 enter ID: 994-7297-7175 and password 368422. Public attendees are requested to mute their line until addressed.