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Council approves interim zoning for medical marijuana

RONAN — Following a lengthy discussion on the conditions of the sale and growth of medical marijuana, the Ronan City Council restricted the sale and growth of the substance to the highway commercial zone and excluding it from the line of sight from any schools in the area. Medical marijuana providers will have to apply to the city of Ronan for an appropriate permit and pay a fee of $25 in order to grow or sell the substance. 

The council moved to approve the ordinance for an interim period of up to six months. 

The ordinance is based on the Whitefish medical marijuana ordinance, which has served as a model for many cities in Montana. 

In the meantime, the city council assigned the duty of drafting a new ordinance with different fees to the planning board and suggested that Ronan Police Chief Dan Wadsworth and Ronan Fire Chief Mark Clary attend the meetings and offer their opinions on the matter.

“In all reality we should handle it as fast as we get the information,” Ronan City Mayor Kim Aipperspach said. 

In other business, city planner Dan Miller informed the council of the progress with obtaining a portion of a plot of land to build a water pressure reducing valve. 

The 31 by 80 foot portion of land at the intersection of 7th Ave. and Terrace Lake Road will cost $12,000 and will serve as the sight for a pressure reducing valve, a generator, a pump and a building, if the project is approved for funding. 

The pressure reducing valve gives the city the proper water pressure to fill the water tank up to capacity.

In other news, Leroy Hoversland was approved as the Joint Airport Board Chairman.

The city clerk, Kaylene Melton provided the council with proposals from engineer Shari Johnson and proposals to do the administration portion of the Water Project. She and other employees of the city rated the proposals on a basis of familiarity and qualifications.

She noted that Becky Beard rated the highest due to her familiarity with the project.

The council moved to negotiate with Johnson and reserved the decision in respect to the administration of the project to the next meeting. 

Wadsworth came forward to inform the council on the new police department policy manual. The police department tweaks the manual every year in order to stay current, he explained.

The next Ronan city council meeting will be held on March 22 at 6 p.m.

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