Minutes Accepted and filed with the Town Clerk on 01/16/2018 by a vote of 4-0
(Selectman Plante absent)
7:00p.m. – January 2, 2018
Sutton Town Hall, Selectmen’s Meeting Room
Members in Attendance:
Chairman Jesse Limanek, Vice Chair John Hebert, Clerk David Hall and Selectmen Michael Kenney & Raymond Plante Jr.
Town Administrator James Smith & Deb Jacques, secretary
Chairman Limanek calls the meeting to order at 7:00pm followed by the Pledge of Allegiance
Public Forum: Donna Mitchell 19 Leland Hill Road is here as a concerned citizen regarding the marijuana issue. Ms. Mitchell states that Recreational marijuana is a big issue. At this time Ms. Mitchell reads from a letter received from the Sutton Schools about keeping children safe from vaping. The school is doing what they can and we need the parents and the town to keep kids safe. A good majority of the town agrees that a recreational dispensary should not be allowed in town, medical we have to allow.
Selectman Hall motions to accept as presented the December 19, 2017 meeting minutes, Vice Chairman Hebert seconds passes 4-0-1
(Selectman Kenney abstains, not present at 12/19 meeting)
Medical Marijuana facility: Present is the Evergreen Farms Team which consists of CEO Ben Smith, Board member Stephen Machatha, Secretary Stephen Mandile and also in attendance is Cory Ravelson and Sam Tracy from 4Front Advisors and Andrew Chalson with S3 Integration (Security). TA Smith informs the BOS this is an informational meeting as a host agreement is needed as well as a non-opposition letter from the town. A power point is presented (attached to approved minutes). 4Front Advisors give a brief background on their company, they are consultants for Evergreen Farms and currently are working on obtaining 54 operating licenses throughout various states (12 have been granted none in MA). Evergreen Farms main focus is on veterans but they go on to say medical marijuana treats many chronic illnesses. Medical
marijuana was passed into law in MA in 2012, currently there are over 43,000 patients that use medical marijuana on a routine basis with the approval of physicians. Products are strictly regulated and tracked by the state along with required security. There is a 3 step application when applying for a Medical marijuana facility with the Dept. of Public Health. The area of interest in Sutton is on Gilmore Drive and it is already properly zoned for Medical marijuana. They would like to purchase the 5 acre lot with a plan to build a 50,000 sq. ft. warehouse. This location would employ 20 individuals. At this time, Mr. Chalson (security of the facility) discusses the support his company would offer using an electronic security management system along with a perimeter and duress alarm. Steve Mandile, a disabled veteran and member of the Evergreen team, talks about his struggle with opioids after a war injury and the path provided by Evergreen to assist veterans. Vice Chair
Hebert thanks the group for the presentation, John goes on to ask out of the 54 facilities how many have been granted licenses, Cory replies 12 but there are no businesses opened yet. Vice Chair Hebert would like to tour a facility, 4Ventures replies they could get him into one but it would not be owned by Evergreen. John replies he would like to see an Evergreen facility that is up and running in full operation to see the size of the fans, the fumes, and the security. John goes on to say we have a lot of pride in our town and Gilmore Drive does have residential homes in the area. Selectman Hall says this was a comprehensive presentation, Dave goes on to say this is medicinal, you have no interest in a dispensary, Cory replies correct, only a grow facility, never a dispensary. Dave also asks for a breakdown of the production. Cory Ravelson starts with the seed state of the product right through the packaged product. At that point it is picked up by a van and distributed to a
dispensary. Also questioned is how waste is disposed of. Cory replies this is also mandated by DPH. Dave asks CEO Ben Smith if there is a sizeable financial deposit. Mr. Smith replies yes we have to prove that we have the investment money available. Ben states it is his intention to purchase the land and own the building so he can control all input and output as it is a highly regulated business. When asked the difference between medicinal and recreational marijuana, Cory states there is no difference in the cultivation but the strains and compounds are different. Selectman Kenney asks if they will also be looking for recreational at some point, Cory replies we can’t say we won’t look at it but we don’t think it would be available for a few years. We would like to move forward with this project but we would like to know how the town feels about recreational. Selectman Kenney asks how much would be produced at this facility. Ben Smith states about
10,000 lbs. a year. Mike also asked for the names of a few facilities, they reply Kanna in Nevada and IGM in Illinois. Selectman Plante begins by thanking Mr. Mandile for his service (veteran), and asks for a description of the building. Cory replies concrete slab, cinderblocks, square building, there would be no fence. Ray also asks about the noise pollution due to the transformer, CEO Ben Smith states it is 3000 amp which is not loud. Regarding odor mitigation, a Co2 carbon filter is used within the building so no fumes escape. Selectman Plante says this is a nice little town and we want to keep it this way. Chairman Limanek states Sutton is one of the few towns that have voted against recreational marijuana. Jesse asks if there is scientific studies to show medicinal marijuana works, Sam replies yes and offers to send information regarding this. Jesse also asks if the number of Drs. prescribing has increased, Sam Tracey replies yes we have seen strong growth in the number of
doctors getting involved. When asked the average amount a patient uses it was answered 1 oz. a month. Chairman Limanek thanks all that came before the BOS tonight and say they will take it under advisement.
Capital Plan FY2019: TA Smith states the dollar amount is larger than normal and reviews the list (attached to final minutes). The dollar amount is $694,000.00 and the plan is to pay completely out of free cash. A few of the other items will be separate requests. One of the larger items is to improve the public safety communications system. The cost will be approx. $400,000.00 and will be funded out of new growth. Vice Chair Hebert says the simulcast antennas are imperative, not just for the Police Dept. but also for Fire, Highway and ambulance. Selectman Hall says it is the right time to deal with the communication issues, this poses a significant safety issue. Selectman Kenney asks if the Shaw Barn demolition can be a controlled burn, TA Smith replies he does not think DEP would approve., the barn is different
than the house was which was used for training and then a controlled burn. Selectman Plante agrees that Shaw Barn is a liability as it exists and goes on to discuss the communications system saying it was a big frustration when he was a Police Officer regarding communication back and forth from the station. Chairman Limanek is in full support of the communications system and says former Selectman Maynard and Chief Hebert have voiced issues with this for many years.
- Electric Vehicle charging station at the Rufus Putnam Building has increased the monthly bill from $10-$20. to $200.00- the town has taken this monthly bill over from the Historical Society. The cost for the electricity for the two town owned vehicles is instead of using fuel. These charging stations are also available to residents.
- Roadway Improvements Stabilization fund: This was suggested by Chairman Limanek at the Goals meeting this past summer. It is similar to the Capital Stabilization plan but would be used to repair roadways. It would be a general override in May. This will be discussed in more detail at the 1st meeting in February.
Minimum bid for 25 R Putnam Hill Road- town meeting authorized this property to be sold. The parcel is assessed at $7,100. a minimum bid price of $3,500. is recommended.
Selectman Plante motions to set the minimum bid price for 25R Putnam Hill Road of $3,500.00 Selectman Kenney seconds passes 5-0
Selectman announcements/Correspondence/Round table
- Selectman Kenney would like to remind residents to not crowd the plows, let them do what they need to do.
- Selectman Plante says the Highway Dept. has done a great job and agrees to be cautious when plows are out.
- Chairman Limanek agrees regarding the Highway dept. and goes on to list needed essentials at the food pantry.
Selectman Hall motions to adjourn, Selectman Plante seconds passes 5-0
Meeting adjourned 9:10pm