“There’s no doubt that it’s not something you bring up a week before the election, we were all too busy with the election,” Ferguson said. “We filed it the day after the deadline, we didn’t want it to be a late file, but we got caught up in the election.”
If the facility were to be established, Ferguson said Amesbury would benefit from the additional tax revenue, and ATG would also donate about $50,000 per year to the city to offset the inconvenience of having the cultivation site in town. She also argued that the residents are largely supportive of the issue, given that 68 percent of residents voted in favor of legalizing medical marijuana in 2012.
While the medical marijuana discussion runs its course over the next week, the City Council will have a packed agenda for its final meeting of the term next month.
The highlight figures to be a request that the City Council authorize the mayor to enter into a 25-year lease agreement for the development of soccer fields at Woodsom Farm, which would allow a third party the ability to secure long-term, non-city funding to build new soccer fields in the area by Cashman Elementary School.
The council will also determine whether to accept the $1,642,434 MassWorks grant recently awarded to the city for the realignment of Water Street in the Lower Millyard, and whether to accept grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice to support two school resource officer positions under the 2013 Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program.
The other items that will be discussed next month include: an ordinance that would allow residents to keep chickens as pets and for egg production; a request to schedule the annual tax classification meeting; a request that the City Council vote to increase the exemption amount of qualified applicants; a request that the City Council vote to provide snow and ice removal to the residents of Quimby Lane this winter while the street acceptance process is pending; an order to reduce the FY2014 Water Budget by $505,000, and another to appropriate that amount of water retained earnings to the FY2014 Water Budget; and an order to accept Timber Lane as a public way.