Covington Council passes medical marijuana moratorium

By Sam Wildow -

COVINGTON — Covington Council approved adopting a 180-day moratorium in regard to medical marijuana facilities during their meeting Tuesday evening. This means that the village has banned allowing retail dispensaries, cultivators, or processors of medical marijuana within the area for approximately six months.

The village’s moratorium was also deemed an emergency, meaning that it went into effect immediately. The ban was approved two days before Ohio’s medical marijuana bill goes into effect today.

Gov. John Kasich signed the bill on June 9. The law would allow patients to use marijuana in vapor form for certain chronic health conditions, but ban them from smoking it or growing it at home.

Also under the law, cities and towns could choose to ban dispensaries or limit the number of them. Licensed cultivators, processors, dispensaries, and testing laboratories cannot be within 500 feet of schools, churches, public libraries, playgrounds, or parks. Employers could continue to enforce drug-testing policies and maintain drug-free workplaces. Banks that provide services to marijuana-related entities would be protected from criminal prosecution.

Piqua and Troy have approved similar moratoriums. Beavercreek also has imposed a moratorium.

This moratorium was approved to allow more time for the village to assess what they want to do with these types of facilities within the next six months.

The council also approved the Ohio Department of Transporation’s (ODOT) established bike route on Ingle Road through the village. ODOT is in the process of finalizing various bike routes throughout the state. State Bike Route 36 (SBR36) extends from the Piqua area and utilizes back roads that mostly run parallel along U.S. Route 36, including Ingle Road through Covington. It then turns north to Covington-Bradford to get to Bradford. ODOT has requested each jurisdiction that has an identified on-road bike route to formally issue a resolution supporting the route.

The council then approved an ordinance levying special assessments for the 2016 sidewalk curb and drive approach replacement program. The council also approved waiving the three-reading rule for this ordinance.

The council also reminded residents that there are two upcoming informational public hearings about the utilities aggregation programs that will be on the November ballot. Those public hearings gas and electric aggregation will be held at the government building, located at 1 S. High St., on Sept. 19, and Oct. 17, at 6:30 p.m.

The council also approved the following purchases and payments during their meeting:

• A progress payment of $42,369 to CH2Mhill for the Wastewater plant phase 1 design

• The purchase a 2017 Ford F250 from Middletown Ford on the state of Ohio cooperative purchasing program at a cost of $26,665.84

• The purchase of a Reading utility body from KE Rose for $5,500

• Amending the Steven Street paving contract amount for Wagner Paving from the original to bid price of $49,898 to $48,329.15.

• A payment of $48,329.15 to Wagner Paving

• A payment of $9,400 to M&T Excavating for the 136 N. Main St. teardown

• Amending the 2016 sidewalk project contract amount for M&T Excavating from the original contract amount of $25,426 to $31,610.79

• A payment of $31,610.79 to M&T Excavating for the 2016 sidewalk project

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336