Mayor Eddie Sundquist said City Council will have to decide whether to opt out of allowing dispensaries or on-site consumption establishment now that New York State has legalized recreational marijuana. Under the state law, individual municipalities must act before the end of the year on whether to pass laws banning these establishments. If a law is passed, it automatically goes to a public vote under a permissive referendum. No action is needed if a municipality wants to allow dispensaries and on-site consumption locations to open.
Sundquist said the City can regulate using zoning to establish time, place and manner of use,
“We cannot have dispensaries or other on-site establishments so many feet from a school or house of worship, so that does limit locations that those can go. In addition, any dispensary or on-site consumption establishment must notify the municipality, so we will be notified before any of those are opened to ensure they comply with any type of regulations or zoning requirements.”
Sundquist said the City would receive 3% of the 13% sales tax the state will impose on the sale of cannabis. He added that the law establishes the creation of the State Office of Cannabis Management, which will be the entity that implements regulations and guidelines
The City of Jamestown will be receiving its full New York State Aid to Municipalities payment as well as an increase in CHIPS monies in the recently approved New York State Budget. Mayor Eddie Sundquist said the city had budgeted for a 20% decrease in aid this year,
“In addition, we’ve been notified that the state had prior withheld 5% of last year’s AIM payment. We will now be receiving that back to the budget so we’re very excited to get the full state funding back after the state has been made whole by the federal government.”
Sundquist said the CHIPS funding hadn’t been increased since the 1980s. DPW Director Jeff Lehman said the City will receive $1,102,000; which is a 24% increase from prior years. CHIPS funding is used to repair roads for which the City is reimbursed.
City Council will vote on replacing 63 Police Body Cameras at its voting session on April 26th. The cameras will have an annual cost of $70,000 dollars for five years, with this year’s cost being pro-rated at an amount of $46,746 dollars. Jamestown Information Technology Director Mark Dean says the old cameras, which were only 3 years old, had been failing for the last year and a half,
“And some of them haven’t been able to be replaced and with ones that do need to be replaced take up to a few months to get replaced. So right now some officers have to share body cameras to have the ability to have a body camera. So we’re proposing to replace every one of those including detectives.”
Dean said the Axon cameras will allow police to save the video recordings in the cloud and the city will have the option to give the District Attorney access to the videos as well. The money for the cameras will come out of the City’s contingency fund this year and then will be a regular part of budget for the remainder of the contract.
Council also will vote on a resolution to purchase an electronic fingerprinting system for the City Jail. Police Chief Tim Jackson said the current equipment for booking prisoners is outdated and needs to be updated in order to comply with the state. The fingerprinting system is being paid through a grant with the city being required to pay a 25% match of $7,100 dollars.
For a second year, there will not be a Memorial Day parade in the City of Jamestown. Parks Manager Dan Stone updated City Council last night that the Blue Star Mothers will still have a small ceremony in Veterans Park on Memorial Day weekend with the Veterans Council holding an invite only ceremony at Lakeview Cemetery on Memorial Day.