TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
LOCAL LAW #3-2021-A LOCAL LAW TO OP OUT OF ALLOWING CANNABIS RETAIL DISPENSARIES AND ON-SITE CONSUMPTION SITES AS AUTHORIZED UNDER CANNABIS LAW ARTICLE 4
TUESDAY 10/12/2021, 6:00 PM
ROBERT YATES, SUPERVISOR PRESENT
DICK SENA, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
MIKE PFEIL, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
LOUISE ORTMAN, COUNCILWOMAN PRESENT
STEVE SENSKE, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
OTHERS PRESENT: Robin Miller, Bookkeeper; Stephanie Gibbs, Deputy Town Clerk; Kelly Johnson, Attorney; Brad Lawson, Zoning CEO; Helen & Clayton Emick; Lynn & Pete Smith; Gayle Martin; Rene Yates; Catherine Peterson; Jen Martin; Todd Stimson; Kerry Trammel; Adam Pirtz; Walter Rittman; Jackie Francis; Brandon Van Curen; Joe & Barbara Frederico; Will Ortman
Mr. Yates brought the hearing to order at 6:00PM with the Pledge of Allegiance.
This is a hearing to pass a Local Law to Opt Out of Allowing Cannabis Retail Dispensaries and Sn-Site Consumption Sites as Authorized Under Cannabis Law Article 4.
Mr. Pirtz introduced himself and stated he is not a resident of the town. He said he is a Hemp Farmer in the state of Pennsylvania and is certified by NOFA. Mr. Pirtz handed out packets to the board to look at to get more information.
Mr. Van Curen asked about the insurance that Mr. Pirtz has.
Mr. Pirtz said he carried basic insurance and crop insurance.
Mr. Yates asked what some pros and cons are of having sales in the town.
Mr. Pirtz said cannabis is an awesome thing for everyone and believes the Town of North harmony is a great location and thanked the board for their time.
Mr. Stimson introduced himself and stated he was from Jamestown. He gave the board some information and figures on sales and tax benefits to the town from sales. He said they just turned in their business plan to Jamestown and they will be opening a store in Jamestown for adult cannabis. He said they already have hemp. He said when you have places in your community that are regulated, and you can get labs to show the community what they are ingesting compared to what they are getting on the black market and believes it is a benefit to the community to know what they are getting. He shared labs from his plants. He said they must drive their labs to Cheektowaga because it is illegal federally still so they cannot send it through the mail.
Mr. Yates asked about the handling of the product once you have a store established and asked what the store looks like.
Mr. Stimson said his store will be a microbusiness so they can go seed to sale.
Mr. Sena questioned the percentage of what we will get from the sales of cannabis compared to what Mr. Stimson presented.
Mr. Stimson said the town will get 3% of the 13% of taxes.
Mrs. Johnson said the 3% taxes will be separated between all the towns that are allowing sales so we will not get the whole 3%.
Mr. Rittman introduced himself and stated he was a resident of the town and said to his understanding the town can add an additional tax on top of what is already being charged.
Mrs. Johnson said to her understanding that is not correct. She said they have a specific percentage for each different product that can’t go over a specific percentage.
Mrs. Trammel introduced herself and stated she was not a resident and said her and her husband own the Relief Market. She stated she was asked to come to the meeting to give information. She said to obtain a license she must get a letter of support from her town to go with her application or her application is denied from the state. She believes with the town being close to other state boarders we will get business.
Ms. Johnson said that is not allowed and that poses an issue if you are advertising to come to the town out of state and will raise crime rate in the town coming in from out of town and crossing state lines.
Mr. Stimson said they are talking about people from out of town that have a home here or are vacationing. He said they get numerous calls a day from people looking for products. He said there is a need and want for it whether it be for pain control or recreational use and there are lab reports to show they are safe.
Ms. Francis asked right now what kind of people they are working with.
Ms. Trammel said right now they are working with mostly CBD, so it is the older generation using it for pain. She said they are not seeing the younger crowd right now because they do not carry THC products. Ms. Trammel said there are limits to the number of licenses the town gets.
Ms. Johnson said they must give notice to the town, and it does help to get a letter from the town. However, New York State has the right to override any town and maintain control over the town.
Mr. Yates asked how the cost of sales from a dispensary compares to the black market. He said his concern is someone might not want to come to a dispensary rather than their dealer because of cost.
Ms. Trammel said it is more expensive at a dispensary.
Mr. Van Curen said when applying and getting a letter of recommendation, do they do a background check at the town level.
Ms. Johnson said no.
Mr. Yates asked if when a buyer comes to the store if they must register.
Ms. Trammel said they must scan their driver’s license and be on file for five years.
Mr. Yates asked if you register does your gun permit get pulled.
Mr. Stimson said it is a possibility because they are pulling permits due to the use of medical use.
Mrs. Yates introduced herself and stated she was a resident of the town. She said she doesn’t think its right for the town to ask a business what you can do for me. She said Chautauqua County has the highest rate of cancer she has ever seen and there are a lot of elderly people. She said any of these people that get a chance to be prescribed medicinal marijuana must drive all the way to Buffalo. She said it’s hard for them to do that if they are alone. She said she would rather her children get something safe than go to the streets of Jamestown and get hurt to get it. She believes it is good for the town.
Ms. Martin introduced herself and stated she was a resident of the town. She said she doesn’t have anything to add that hasn’t already been said but as a resident she feels that it would benefit the town to move forward with the product that is already here but to make it safe. She thinks if North Harmony opts in before the curve and has the support and the business established, we will get the towns around us in and we will be the role model to the other towns. She said we don’t have a lot here that a lot of people are attracted to so this could attract people to our area. She believes it would be beneficial to The Town of North Harmony to opt in.
Mr. Van Curen introduced himself and stated he was a town resident. He asked if he grew marijuana and sells it, is it allowed?
Mr. Yates said it must go to a store.
Ms. Johnson said if you are going to grow it you must have a license and if you are going to grow it for personal use you there are rules set for that.
Mr. Van Curen said he felt it would be good for the community to have farms in the area.
Mr. Pfeil said the town doesn’t have any say in that. He said that is run by the state.
Mrs. Frederico introduced herself and stated she owned property in the town. She said she is curious if this is directed at towns or rural.
Ms. Johnson said the rural areas still make up the town, so it is directed at the whole town.
Mr. Ortman introduced himself and stated he was a resident of North Harmony. He said the state is giving us a deadline to decide to opt in or out before the state comes up with all the rules and guidelines on how they are going to administer this. He believes the medical use of marijuana is good however the state is telling us we must decide before we have the information so he feels strongly that we need to opt out at this time and when we get the rules and regulations, we can opt back in.
Mrs. Emick introduced herself and stated she is a town resident. Mrs. Emick asked Ms. Johnson what the benefits are for opting in.
Ms. Johnson said there is very minimal value at the time for opting in.
Mrs. Emick states the income benefit is so minimal that it should not be part of the town’s consideration.
Ms. Johnson said there is a lot to consider. She said its more than just money you need to look at the town not having full control of locations of these stores and an increase in crime rates. She said the state has been very vocal to the fact that there isn’t anything approved by New York State to determine marijuana and how much marijuana intake impairs a person. She said New York State has been given a deadline to come up with a test to be able to determine impairment due to marijuana. She said there are pros and cons to this. She said the biggest concern of all the towns is they are only given one shot to opt out and if they don’t opt out, they will never be able to do so. She said most towns are choosing to opt out to wait to see what the regulations are, and they can opt in when they are comfortable with the regulations.
Mr. Rittman said he has gone to a store in Massachusetts, and it looked like a bank. He said you go in, give your license, wait in line, you get a menu much like one in a restaurant, go to the counter and the person takes your order. He said everything is very clean and regulated. He said it is a very sophisticated business and it is going to happen here anyway so, he feels we might as well go for it. He wished the board luck on their decision.
Mr. Frederico said it’s a great idea.
Mrs. Peterson said she went to her doctor, and her doctor feels she should have medical marijuana, but she must go to Buffalo because there are no dispensaries close. She said she owns a steel company and works hard, and she is in a lot of pain, but she doesn’t have time to drive to Buffalo. She thinks this a good idea.
Ms. Frances introduced herself and stated she lived in Ashville. She said after hearing everyone speak, we need to get it over with and opt in.
Ms. Johnson said we need to vote and give the town 45 days to put in a petition.
Mr. Yates said he does not want to vote on this tonight.
Mrs. Emick said our next meeting is November 8th and we will have more than 45 days before our next meeting.
Mr. Yates thanked the public for their input.
- MOTION # 155 OF 2021
ON A MOTION MADE BY MR. PFIEL, SECONDED BY MRS. ORTMAN, AND NONE BEING OPPOSED, THE HEARING WAS ADJOURNED AT 7:20 PM.
Deputy Town Clerk
TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
TOWN BOARD MEETING
MONDAY 10/12/2021, 7:00 PM
ROBERT YATES, SUPERVISOR PRESENT
DICK SENA, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
MIKE PFEIL, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
LOUISE ORTMAN, COUNCILWOMAN PRESENT
STEVE SENSKE, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
OTHERS PRESENT: Robin Miller, Bookkeeper; Stephanie Gibbs, Deputy Town Clerk; Kelly Johnson, Attorney; Brad Lawson, Zoning CEO; Howard Peacock, Justice; Pierre Chagnon, Legislator, Ben Karlson Highway Superintendent; Katie Zimmer, Court Clerk; Helen & Clayton Emick; Lynn & Pete Smith; Mary Jo Natali; Chuck Hutchison
Mr. Yates Opened the Town Board Meeting at 7:31 PM.
- MINUTES: 9/13/21 & 9/21/21 (work session)
MRS. ORTMAN MOTIONED TO ADOPT THE MINUTES OF THE TOWN BOARD MEETING HELD ON 9/13/21 AND THE MINUTES FROM THE WORK SESSION HELD ON 9/21/21 AS PRESENTED BY THE TOWN CLERK. MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (5): YATES, SENA, PFEIL, ORTMAN, SENSKE, NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY TRICK OR TREATING HOURS: SUNDAY 10/31/21 5-7 PM
- The Town received a phone call from Gary & Anne Olson of Hoag Rd. to give a special thank you to Wally, Walt, and the rest of the Feldt family and the Ashville Fire Dept. for the terrific job they did when the Olson home caught fire recently.
- PUBLIC COMMENT:
CHUCK HUTCHISON-CONNELY PARK.
Mr. Hutchison said Mr. Olson his neighbor has not been mowing the grass by the lake, he is putting signs up everywhere, planted trees by the lake and put up a chicken wire fence around the deeded area with a no storage sign and cameras to make sure they can’t store their docks there. He said in the past every week everyone with deeded writes mowed the lawn and Mr. Olson requested them not to.
LYNN SMITH – CHAUTAUQUA AVE.
Mrs. Smith said she was happy to see progress with the sewer project and can’t wait for the water project to start.
The following correspondence has been received by the Supervisor and is available for review:
- 9/30/21 – Email from David Groth, Watson Rd. re residency of elected Highway Superintendent vs. appointed Highway Manager
Mrs. Ortman said she has already responded to Mr. Groth’s email.
2. 2022 TONH Tentative Budget received 9/30/21 by Town Clerk
3. Ashville Fire District Tentative Budget received 9/30/21
4. Cameron Knowles, Galehead Development – email re Solar Project Open Meadows Rd.
Mr. Lawson said they want the Planning Board to look at their site off Butts and Open Meadows Rd and allow by a special permit in the R District. They think it is a great site for solar.
5. Assessor – August 2021 property transfers A/V $1,121,500.00; S/P $1,780,407.00; (+658,907.00)
6. Cemetery Committee- Frank Stow and Mike Pfeil are part of the committee.
Mr. Yates said that Mr. Stow had asked permission to get a sign put up in the Ashville cemetery. The sign is the patriot’s burial sign, and it has already been ordered and paid for through a grant.
7. Solar Law
Ms. Johnson said the planning board has already finished the law and move to send it to the Town Board. She said the final law was send just today so their needs to be a public hearing next month and it needs to be voted on because the moratorium ends in December.
Mr. Yates said it will be scheduled.
8. Special Election- November 9, 2021, 6PM-9PM
Special Election to vote on the sale of the Ashville fire station located at 2097 South Maple, Ashville.
- OLD BUSINESS:
- Sale of Old Town Building – No petition on referendum received (30 days expires 10/10)
Mr. Yates said the bid for the old town building and the pole barn came from the Giarrizzos. He said they intend to make it into a sports shop and possibly an archery range.
- Chautauqua Co. Clerks Office – 8/13/2021 Notice of Sale or Transfer of Ownership of TONH Gravel Pit (364.00-2-21) to Jonas Burkholder, Jr.
- James Sacco, Engineer NYS-DEC Follow up Inspection of Transfer Station 9/15/21 – No issues
- NEW BUSINESS:
- Set SEQR & Public Hearing Date for Local Law – Solar Energy – Nov. 8, 2021, 6:45 PM.
- Budget Work Session- Wednesday October 20, 2021, 6:30PM
- No-Smoking on Town Property.
MOTION # 157 OF 2018
MRS. ORTMAN MOTIONED TO PASS AN ORDINANCE FOR NO TOBACCO PRODUCTS, VAPING PRODUCTS OR USE OF CANNABIS PRODUCTS ON ANY PROPERTY OWNED BY THE TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY. MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (5): YATES, SENA, PFEIL, ORTMAN, SENSKE, NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Mr. Karlson asked if there will be any designated smoking areas.
Mr. Yates said no.
- ROA Records
Mr. Yates said Katie Zimmer and Nancy Thomas’ ROAs need to be reviewed.
PIERRE CHAGNON, LEGISLATOR
Mr. Chagnon said last month at the County Legislature meeting we received a presentation by the county executive involving the 2022 tentative budget. His proposed budget includes a 1.4 percent increase for the tax levy which it the amount of property dollars collected and a 3 percent deduction in the tax rate so the property tax bills will be going down by .26 per $1,000 assessed value. The county legislature spent the first week of October going over the budget line by line with each department and has come up with several recommendations to improve the budget and those will be reviewed through the legislature committee meeting next week until the legislature decides on a final budget for 2022
We also agreed to settle a legal action fought on behalf of New York state and its local subdivisions against several manufacturers and opioids, distributers of opioids and chain pharmacies based on plans that they contributed to the opioid epidemic. The counties share will be between 2.5 million and 4.5 million dollars for the next 18 years. The defendants agreed to create and maintain a national clearing house with strict requirements on data sharing designed to account for opioid shipments by distributers and others. The agreement provided that 79% of the proceeds that we receive can only be used for approved uses which include types of prevention for opioid use disorder.
We adopted our plan to utilize the 24.6 million dollars received by the county from the Federal American Rescue Plan. The plan places a special emphasis on public health infrastructure, economic development, work force development, clean water and public safety projects which are sustainable and have a county wide impact. The projects in the plan are priority projects and subject to further review and final approval by the legislature adoption to spend money once the final detail of each of those projects is presented to the legislature for approval. Included in that is money for Phase Two extension of the South and Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer District from the Hamlet of Stow to Prendergast Creek.
ANNE GOLLEY, ASSESSOR
Mr. Yates Read the following report into the record:
In October, we were still fielding phone calls and walk-ins regarding the school tax bills, along with apportionments to the school tax collector when property owners split their parcels.
Every year I attend the assessors conference, this year it was held in Niagara Falls. This is vital for assessors to attain their annual recertification credits that are needed annually.
The 2022 exemption renewals are in the process of being sent out to the property owners. They will need to reapply by March 1, 2022.
Thank you for your continued support of the assessor’s office.
BEN KARLSON, DEPUTY HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT
Mr. Karlson said they have been busy. He said they have received applications and they are in the position to hire a new employee. He said this last month they have been working hard on Eiden Rd. A town resident became a permanent resident, so they needed to prepare the area for plowing. He said three highway employees went to snow and ice removal training. They are continuing to get the truck ready for inspection coming up in October and November, and they are getting tires and everything ready for snow season. Mr. Karlson asked what the policy is for hiring Andy Post who is already an employee and his truck to do tree work. Mr. Senske said we are basically just leasing his truck. Mr. Yates said he feels we need to seek legal advice and get back on that topic. Mr. Karlson brought an idea to the board to replace on of his trucks and provided information on the truck with pros, cons, and major repairs that the current truck has required.
HOWARD PEACOCK, JUSTICE
Mr. Peacock read the following report into the record:
$40,018 in fines, fees, and surcharges was collected by the Court and given to the Town of North Harmony CFO for the court cases reported to the NYS Comptroller for September 2021. We opened 171 new cases and closed 242 cases.
Mr. Peacock said court will be back in session this week. They will have to follow social distancing, limit number of people at a time and wear masks.
Mrs. Emick asked if the security officer will be here then.
Mr. Peacock said yes
Mrs. Emick asked if that meant the town clerks office will be open of Thursday evening hours.
Mr. Yates said they should be.
Mr. Lawson said it has been busy and reviewed his report for those present.
JOHN STOW, DCO
Mr. Yates read the following report into the record:
It was a busy month for Dog Control. Most of my time was spent driving back and forth for medical bill reimbursement between two parties on a dog bite incident. The two parties came to an agreement without filing a dangerous dog report. The dogs continue to be tied up every day without further incident. The issue was thought to be resolved; however, a second bill was received by the victim. Several trips were made to deliver the bill and make sure the bill was paid.
There was a call last month I failed to record. I was called at approximately 11:30 PM to meet a motorist at Ashville General Store with a dog found in the road. Upon arrival the motorist and dog were both gone. The deputy at dispatch called the motorist and the dog owners’ number from the collar and there was no answer. I searched the are for about ten minutes and went home.
The last call was a two-part saga near Blockville.
Part one I received a call from a town employee about a dog in the road at the corner of Diffley Rd. and Open Meadows. There were two young ladies attempting to put the dog in their car when she pulled up. The scene was on a blind hill on Open-Meadows Rd., and it was a dangerous spot, so they were advised to move to Diffley Rd. to wait until she called me, the dog control officer. After some debate, I told them to stay put and I would be there shortly to pick up the dog. This was the fourth phone call about this dog in the road in the last month mind you. I let it go several times, knowing the circumstances. It had become a dangerous situation, so I came to get the dog. The town employee was gone when I arrived. The two girls wanted to take the dog home, but I refused to let them, and took the dog to the Humane Society.
Part two was several days later when I received a phone call from a town resident wanting to report a dog theft. The irate woman proceeded to tell me that Robin Miller had stolen her dog and taken it to the humane society and had also harassed her several times by calling their dogs in for running without a leash. We are not sure how they came to this conclusion, perhaps somebody saw Robin leave the scene with the dog. Robin is unmistakable at 6’6” tall, 320 pounds, long dark brown beard, and beautiful sparkly deep blue eyes.
I kindly explained to the woman that I was the one to take her dog, which was actually her sister in-laws’ dog and that I had every right to by law. I also explained that I could write tickets for her to appear in court for charges related to the unlicensed dog, but she decided there was no need to be upset anymore.
Apparently, she had already called the State Police. They came to the office to investigate Robin for dog theft. I kindly came to the office and explained the situation to the trooper. It was resolved immediately. On a side note, I would like to revisit the leash law in the town. We need a provision for dogs habitually impeding the flow of traffic. I don’t want a leash law for the entire town, just for circumstances regarding dogs habitually in the road, causing potential harm to motorists.
NANCY THOMAS, TOWN CLERK (Copy of Report in Minute Book)
Mrs. Thomas is out of town. Mrs. Gibbs said she had nothing further to add to the written report.
- MOTION # 158 OF 2021
MRS. ORTMAN MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE TOWN CLERKS REPORT AS PRESENTED. MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, ORTMAN, SENSKE, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
ROBERT YATES, SUPERVISOR (Copy of Report in Minute Book)
- MOTION # 159 OF 2021
MRS. ORTMAN MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE SUPERVISORS REPORT AS PRESENTED. MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, ORTMAN, SENSKE, YATES, PFEIL. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 160 OF 2021
MR. PFEIL MOTIONED TO APPROVE THE GENERAL FUND VOUCHERS AS AUDITED AND REVIEWED EARLIER IN THE AMOUNT OF $24,700.62. MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, ORTMAN, SENSKE, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 161 OF 2021
MR. PFEIL MOTIONED TO APPROVE THE HIGHWAY VOUCHERS AS AUDITED AND REVIEWED EARLIER IN THE AMOUNT OF $18,903.03. MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, ORTMAN, SENSKE, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 162 OF 2021
ON A MOTION MADE BY MR. SENA, SECONDED BY MR. SENSKE, AND NONE BEING OPPOSED, THE MEETING WAS ADJOURNED AT 8:40 PM.
Deputy Town Clerk