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Shawnee City Commission: Annual marijuana business permit fee, Broadway project top agenda

Vicky O. Misa

When Shawnee City Commissioners meet Monday, the board is set to consider whether to approve a resolution to implement a $1,500 permit fee annually for medical marijuana establishments.

In Item No. 5 of Monday's agenda, Planning Director Rebecca Blaine said the legalization of medical marijuana in November of 2018 brought new opportunities and challenges to communities across the State of Oklahoma.

“To add to this equation, in Fall of 2019, OMMA (Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority) started requiring an annual compliance form to be researched and signed off by five individuals of the overseeing municipality to ensure compliance with zoning, planning, fire code, building code and code enforcement,” she said. “This addition to the process has equated to almost $500 in in-house staff time, as well as approximately $4,600 in legal advisement for medical marijuana related items.”

She said after some research, she found that communities are charging between $750 and $1,500 for medical marijuana related businesses.

“The City of Broken Arrow recently won a court case, being justified in their $2,500 fee schedule,” she explained. “Pottawatomie County also recently passed an annual $2,000 fee to help cover the staff time to process these types of applications and compliance forms.”

She said she is recommending an annual fee of $1,500 to cover staff and legal time across all classifications of medical marijuana-related businesses.

In other business, the commission will open bids to

upgrade and replace the city's outdoor warning system.

Also, as a Request for Qualifications for design and engineering services for the Broadway Project was released in December, and five submittals were received, the item is coming before the board for the next step.

According to the agenda, the Broadway Project is aligned with the city's goal to develop a network of facilities and pathways to provide better and safer pedestrian, cyclist and motorist commuting and recreational opportunities along the Broadway Corridor as a gateway to the Downtown District.

“The proposed Plan shall show a comprehensive approach that utilizes the possibilities of buffered bike lanes, roundabouts and pedestrian-level lighting, on-street parking and wayfinding,” Blaine said. “The Plan will illustrate a comprehensive design of on-road facilities that will safely connect to the Downtown District while encouraging modes of active transportation.”

This project may encompass up to 8,540 linear feet of bike lanes, she said.

“Staff evaluated these firms by the following criteria: Professional Relevancy of Firm, Example Projects, Proposed Project Timeline, Project Understanding, References and Financial Health of Firm,” she said.

Blaine is making a recommendation to the board to approve the hiring of the firm, Freese Nichols.

On the Municipal Authority agenda, staff may be authorized to enter into an agreement with Holloway, Updike and Bellen, Inc. for engineering consulting services.

The only item set for the Airport Authority is to approve the minutes from its last meeting.

The 6 p.m. meeting will take place Monday in the Bertha Ann Young City Commission Chambers at City Hall, at 16 W. 9th St.