SAGUACHE— Saguache County Commissioners unexpectedly turned a thumbs down on the idea of a task force to help review and revise the marijuana application process Tuesday, deciding instead to turn the process over to the Saguache County Planning Commission.
Commissioner Jason Anderson said if the marijuana moratorium is enacted, the county would not really need a task force. The planning commission could just draft modifications to the application process and regulations. “The planning commission has good thoughts and ideas,” County Co-Administrator Wendi Maez told commissioners. “The public will talk to them.”
The planning commission meets Thursday at road and bridge building beginning at 5 p.m. to review marijuana applications and conditional use permits. Maez and the commissioners agreed that if “anything falls through the cracks” it has to go through the planning commission anyway.
Even if there is a moratorium, Maez noted, that will have to go through the planning commission too and there will need to be a public hearing.
County Attorney Ben Gibbons commented that should the planning commission need more time to finish up revising the regulations and application process, the moratorium could always be extended.
One citizen in the audience said he has served on a task force and told commissioners it is “nearly impossible to create a team that represents everything. No one is really neutral,” but winds up being either for or against. Commissioners had proposed including two neutral members on the task force at their work session last week.
Commissioner J. Anderson pointed out that planning commission representatives need to be at the public meeting, set for Monday, Jan. 29 from 2-5 p.m. Depending on public input, commissioners will decide following the public meeting whether or not they will declare a six-month marijuana moratorium.
Excise tax and budget items
Commissioner Tim Lovato asked County Co-Administrator Lyn Zimmer-Lambert if she had itemized marijuana related revenues in the 2018 budget. “Anything to do with marijuana is set up in project codes [inside] the general fund,” Zimmer-Lambert replied. “Revenues and expenditures are in their ownc section.”
He also asked Zimmer-Lambert if the county has the final numbers yet for the 2017 excise tax totals. Maez answered him saying that the December excise taxes were not due until January 20 and the board will have the totals at its first February meeting. Zimmer-Lambert said in 2018 the county can put the marijuana code items in and the numbers automatically will come up.