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Medical marijuana, the opening of the swimming pool, and the successful sale of obsolete city equipment were among topics covered at the Monday, May 17 meeting of the Mount Ayr city council.
The council heard a presentation from Joi Moshberger and Cory Nielsen concerning the possibility of locating a CBD oil dispensary in Mount Ayr at some undetermined future date.
CBD oil is derived from the cannabis or marijuana plant.
Moshberger is the former Joi Glendenning of Mount Ayr, who has operated a successful CBD dispensary in Oregon since 2016.
Nielsen is the director of sales and distribution for Enjoy Cannabis, Co. a family owned and operated business that plants, grows, harvests and extracts CBD oil for distribution throughout Oregon.
Nielsen said their intent Monday was “to ask permission to make sure it was acceptable with the city council now that we’re looking at putting a potential business in.”
He said the state of Iowa still needed to finalize its CBD rules and guidelines before any serious proposal could be made to bring a dispensary to Mount Ayr. He estimated a timeframe of 12-18 months for the state to act, an opportunity for the city to hold discussions about the pros and cons of allowing a dispensary in the city.
According to the Des Moines Register, Iowa’s medical marijuana program launched in 2018 with dispensaries in Council Bluffs, Davenport, Sioux City, Waterloo and Windsor Heights. Since that time, a dispensary in Iowa City replaced the Davenport location. These shops sell oils, capsules, creams and vaporized products containing marijuana extracts. They may not sell smokeable marijuana.
CBD oil has proven effective in the reduction of pain, anxiety, depression, opioid addiction, effects of cancer treatments and other conditions.
From an economic standpoint, Nielsen shared Moshbeger’s dispensary had paid over $1.1 million in state taxes and over $140,000 in city taxes since 2016. In addition, the business had been quite active in community charitable efforts and organizations.
City superintendent Brent Wise reported that, weather permitting, the municipal swimming pool at Judge Lewis Park will open this Saturday, May 22.
He said the pool still leaks a significant volume of water – approximately 5,500 gallons a day, but in light of plans progressing toward a new pool in the near future, repairing leaks would not be cost effective. The city will continue to monitor the leakage problem.
In related action, the council approved a $1,000 stipend for a certified Water Safety Instructor to provide WSI certification for lifeguards.
The fee for private swimming lessons was set at $60 per hour.
Hannah Glendenning was hired as a part-time substitute lifeguard at a wage of $10.75 an hour.
Superintendent Wise reported the city had great success auctioning off surplus city equipment on the online site purplewave.com.
Wise said the equipment sold for a grand total of $28,360 and listed the equipment and sale prices for each item:
2007 pickup $2,900
2005 pickup $2,700
Bush Hog $2,200
1974 water truck
finish mower $525
grill guard $300
grill guard $55
grill guard $55
In other business the council:
• heard about a dangerous tree on city property adjacent to the residence of Janet Hogue that needs removed. Wise said the tree has been inspected and been added to the removal list.
• held a public hearing on sale of the city-owned house at 105 S. Webster Street. No one was present to speak for or against the proposed sale, but the council could take no further action pending completion of paperwork.
• heard an update from Andy Kellner on the “walkability” project in conjunction with Wellmark/Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Kellner asked the council to complete a “walkability worksheet” to help identify potential walking routes between the square and the schools.
The worksheet asks participants to walk a designated route and to take notes and pictures of the good things you see and where there may be some opportunities for improvement.
Walkers are asked to remember to think of all possible users – young children, older adults, parents pushing strollers, people using mobility devices like wheelchairs or walkers, and people with visual impairments. Many aspects of the built environment may be more challenging for these individuals to navigate.