Houston County commissioners considered establishing a committee to study Minnesota’s recently passed adult-use cannabis legislation at its November 10 regularly scheduled meeting.
After hearing a proposal from Public Health and Human Services Director John Pugleasa, and input from County Attorney Samuel Jandt and Environmental Services Director Martin Herrick, commissioners were all in agreement that during next Tuesday’s workgroup session they would start the discussion regarding a cannabis committee and its responsibilities. Pugleasa, Jandt and Herrick will determine who to invite to the workgroup session. Pugleasa will include Jordan from the Public Health office, and Jandt suggested inviting city officials, city law enforcement agencies, city attorneys, Houston County Zoning chairman, and Houston County Sheriff Brian Swedberg. Plans are to meet once a month or as needed.
A number of questions were brought up during the commission meeting, making it abundantly clear that the county needs to study the cannabis legislation and the impact it will have on the county.
Chairman Dewey Severson call the meeting to order at 9 a.m. and lead his colleagues and the gallery in the Pledge of Allegiance. The board unanimously approved the meeting agenda and the minutes from the October 3 commission meeting as clarified and with two additions.
All five commissioners were in attendance: Chairman Dewey Severson, Eric Johnson, Robert (Bob) Burns, Bob Schuldt and Greg Myhre.
Commissioner Burns moved to approve the consent agenda including changing the employment status of the Highway Maintenance specialist, James Sweet and social worker, Andrea Hinitt both from probationary to regular effective October 24, 2023; accepting the $2,865 Toward Zero Death grant from October 1, 2023, to September 30, 2024; and approving the Serenity Services contract for guardianship, conservatorship,and related legal services. Seconded by Commissioner Johnson. Motion carried.
Joseph Gardner applied for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to build a dwelling in the ag district of Hokah Township. Herrick explained that this home has an interesting past. Everything from a fire on July 5, 2020, to snakes taking up residence in the house which has been vacated for more than a year; thus, the reason a CUP is required. Herrick added that “Gardner gave up on remodeling the house and the garage became the dwelling.” The house was removed in June. Motion by Commissioner Myhre to approve the CUP and seconded by Commissioner Johnson. One question was asked by Burns before Severson called for the vote. Motion carried.
Pugleasa explained that the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) service agreement is something “we do every two years.” He continued to explain that it is a two-year program and is pretty routine. It is a required agreement for the administration of MFIP. The commissioners approved the MFIP. Commissioner Burns made a motion to approve the agreement, seconded by Commissioner Schuldt. Motion carried.
Chairman Severson called to adjourn the meeting at 10:04 a.m.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Houston County Commission is Tuesday, October 24, 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.