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City of Negaunee sets price for pot establishments

City Manager Nate Heffron, second from right, answers questions about a marijuana registration fee during a Negaunee City Council meeting Thursday as, from left, newly elected Councilmen Kevin Flohe and Dana LaLonde, City Attorney Ray Odea and Mayor David Kangas look on. The council unanimously approved the implementation of a $1,000 registration fee to operate a marijuana esta

NEGAUNEE — The price has been set to operate as a marijuana establishment in the city of Negaunee.

The Negaunee City Council on Thursday unanimously approved an amendment to its fee schedule to set a registration fee of $1,000 every two years. Councilman Jason Wallner was absent and excused from the meeting.

The city is permitted under state statute to collect as much as $5,000 annually.

“The number we came up with reflects true cost, we believe, for the administration of the city,” City Manager Nate Heffron said. “Any establishments have to pay for the regular fees for the site plan and all that, so none of those things get put in with that, you pay that up front. So the only thing that we really feel that would affect the administration of this issue would be extra police patrols in the area to keep things secure.”

He said the license would be valid for two years and those applying for a license would be required to pay the $1,000 up front.

Under an ordinance approved Nov. 15, marijuana businesses will be allowed to register in the city starting Jan. 1.

The ordinance allows marijuana businesses only in industrial zones like the former Tracy Mine property, the Kallioinen scrapyard along Buffalo Road and the former Negaunee wastewater treatment facility at 251 County Road 480.

The council also unanimously approved the second reading of its amended Downtown Development Authority ordinance to expand the DDA’s footprint and its tax-increment financing, or TIF, district.

The expansion consists of properties east of Tobin Street extending to the western city limit and includes properties north of the rail line and along U.S. 41 adjacent to the Teal Lake Avenue/U.S. 41 intersection. It would include some city property, Negaunee High School and what is commonly known as Cambria Location.

City officials have previously said the DDA’s initial 42-acre tax increment financing district, which centers on the Negaunee’s traditional downtown, would not yield sufficient revenue, making it necessary to increase the size of the district.

The TIF financing mechanism works by freezing the taxable value of a property at what it was when the DDA was formed and the district established, then collecting or “capturing” any property value tax increases beyond that amount each year.

New Councilmen Kevin Flohe and Dana LaLonde presided over their first meeting since being elected in November. Each are to serve a three-year term ending Nov. 30, 2022.

Councilman Jason Wallner was appointed as mayor pro tem until the next regular election. Former Councilman Bill Anderson’s term in the position expired.

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is lbowers@miningjournal.net.

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