Recreational Marijuana on the Village Council Agenda

By Sue Moore

Although Michigan voters in November approved a ballot initiative legalizing sale of marijuana for personal use, local government approval is still required. Vicksburg’s Village Council will consider whether to permit or prohibit sales in coming months.

Although it has no binding impact on the council’s decision, Village Manager Jim Mallery pointed out to the Council at its November meeting that 57 percent of 2,600 village residents who went to the polls approved the statewide issue.

Mallery presented information about a potential ordinance that would allow the Village Council to put rules in place over a 12-month period. Then it could choose whether or not to permit sale of recreational marijuana within the village limits. The staff will complete its recommendations and schedule a decision on the ordinance at its December meeting.

In other business, the Council approved a state-mandated storm water management ordinance that Mallery assured the council is mostly boiler plate. Questions were raised as to whether the village had adequate systems in place should there be an overflow due to heavy rains. That brought up the question of where the storm water was being funneled. Mallery said he is confident that the system is handling everything just fine.

Dirk VanKrimpen, a Sunset Lake resident, was concerned about septic tanks around the lake. He said that sewage from properties not connected to the village sanitary sewer system might be leaching into the lake. He feels the lake level is set too high by the county drain commissioner thus causing pollution problems.

Trail Update

The village is still negotiating with two property owners that abut the trail extension going north to Portage. The council was asked to approve a sales contract not to exceed $30,000 for the properties. The engineering work is being done over the winter with construction on the last leg of the trail going north from TU Avenue, in the spring.

Purchase of two new water meter readers were authorized that would improve electronic reading of meters. There was enough money in the water fund to support the $18,300 purchase, Mallery said. “We are going through every single water bill to get the reads correct. We have found that input for irrigation meters were done wrong. It was just not done as well as it should have been,” Mallery said.

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