By Leah Williams
The Nashville City Council decided Thursday, December 5, to opt out of allowing marijuana-related businesses within the city limits when recreational weed becomes legal next year.
The council passed the ordinance during its regular meeting, which prohibits businesses like cultivators, dispensaries and all other pot-related businesses to set up shop and operate in Nashville.
Mayor Erik Rolf said the council decided that with all the questions still lingering about allowing marijuana businesses in the community once cannabis becomes legal in Illinois at the beginning of the year, the members believed it was best to see how the situation plays out before allowing them in Nashville.
“It’s my feeling and several council members feeling that we need to wait and see exactly where this is going to go,” Rolf said. “There are a lot of ordinances and rules that need to get together on this. I just think we need to opt out and see what direction this is going to go.”
Rolf stressed that the current ordinance is not set in stone but rather a way for the city to see what happens in other communities.
“It doesn’t mean we are permanently saying no,” Rolf said. “It just means wait and see.”
What the city decided falls in line with the county zoning board committee, which recommended in late November to opt out of allowing businesses within the county. The recommendation now goes before the full board, which is to meet on Dec. 10. For an update on what the board decided, check out our website www.nash-news.com.
Mayor Rolf To Stay On Through December
Mayor Rolf began the meeting stating that since he had not submitted a written resignation and was informed by city attorney Bill DeMoss that he could remain in office during his last month in the city, he would remain the mayor through the month of December.
At the end of the Nov. 21 meeting, Rolf announced that he would be stepping down as mayor after he bought property outside the city limits.
Other City Items
The city council discussed the possibility of allowing ATVs and UTVs within the city limits. Police Chief Brian Fletcher said he believed that there could be strict penalties put on residents who abuse their vehicle privileges.
Fletcher said one deterrent is the revoking of a permit for three years, which should keep most residents.
Rolf also noted that allowing the vehicles on city streets does not apply to State Routes 127 and 15 because they are maintained by the state. Fletcher added that the vehicles would be able to cross the highways as long as they travel along a perpendicular route.
There was also discussion on keeping the permit the same prices as golf carts, which is $35 per year.
The current recycling month numbers included 137 residents who utilized the service and the collection amount was 8,500 pounds or 4.25 tons. Councilman Doug Hargan said the figures do not represent a full month, and the streets department is reporting a full trailer during each day of operation.
The next city council meeting is December 19 beginning at 6:45 p.m. for a tax levy hearing.