At last week’s monthly meeting, the Town of Norwood voted to hold a mail-in ballot election on April 7, and the board also voted to put retail marijuana on the ballot, along with a real estate transfer tax.
Now, voters will decide this spring what they want regarding retail marijuana sales. The marijuana issue has three separate questions. One question asks about a testing facility. Trustee Candy Meehan said there is no testing facility for marijuana on the Western Slope, and Norwood has the option to capture that business.
She said there is no option to vote for commercial grows, however. No commercial cultivation will be permitted in the Town of Norwood.
Town attorney Herb McHarg is working on the language of the ballot questions.
Regarding the question about real estate transfer tax, Meehan said it’s important for voters to understand that the buyer would be responsible for paying the tax. She said the seller will have no obligation, but both parties could agree to something else in their terms of sale.
She said Telluride has a 3 percent transfer tax, and that money supports their infrastructure.
“That’s what we are trying to do with this,” she said. “We have to develop infrastructure, and I think it’s time we took a step forward.”
Meehan said there are 750 people living within town limits. To her, it’s unfortunate the town can’t afford a second law enforcement officer. She said perhaps the transfer tax could help pay for an additional cop’s salary.
Also discussed on the town’s agenda was moving the February monthly meeting to Feb. 5. Town meetings are always scheduled for the second Wednesday of each month; however, next month many town officials are headed to Grand Junction during the regularly scheduled meeting for a community-building seminar.
Town officials said they will post an announcement to make residents aware of the meeting’s date change.
Town administrator Patti Grafmyer said a grant paid for her, along with Carrie Andrew (library), Nola Svoboda (chamber) and Katie Sapp (P&Z), to attend the seminar Feb. 10-12.
There is space for one other town official to participate, and trustee Shawn Fallon said he was considering the seminar.
Additionally, the town is gearing up for its annual audit. Grafmyer reported the audit has gone up in price from around $9,000 to $9,600. She said the bill is shared with the Norwood Water Commission, though. Also, the audit will this year include the new raw water system.
Blair and Associates will perform the audit, one of the few auditors on the Western Slope.
And, the town has hired an on-call planner to replace Cindy Chapin, who resigned in November. Now, Michelle Haynes will enter to a six-month agreement with the Town of Norwood.
Grafmyer said the temporary agreement was beneficial to both Haynes and the town, to ensure she is the person to fill the role. She begins work next month.
Mayor Kieffer Parrino said he’s happy to have Haynes on board.
“I’d like to get that relationship started, because we have a lot going on,” he told Grafmyer during the meeting.