SILT — The town government here, which at one time was opposed to allowing any pot operations to set up shop in town, has received 20 inquiries from people interested in starting up recreational marijuana businesses in Silt, according to a memo from Town Administrator Pamela Woods.
The expressions of interest, said town planning director Janet Aluise, started arriving fairly quickly in response to recent news that the town on Nov. 12 voted to allow just the retail shops to do business here.
Prior to that date, the trustees had been vacillating between allowing recreational pot shops into Silt, and the town has a permanent moratorium in effect against medical marijuana businesses.
Still in official limbo, as far as Silt is concerned, is whether the town will permit other marijuana-related businesses, including cultivation, manufacturing of edible products and special marijuana testing facilities, all of which were legalized by the state’s voters in 2012. Municipalities and counties, however, can opt to prohibit any retail marijuana businesses in their jurisdictions under state law. A majority of Silt’s voters were among those who approved the constitutional amendment legalizing the drug.
Medical marijuana businesses were approved by the state’s voters in 2000.
“We don’t have any applications yet,” said Aluise of the recent communication, noting that the town would not begin processing applications in any event until after Jan. 1.
The town has until March 2014 to decide whether to enact regulations to permit any of the remaining recreational marijuana businesses to locate here, Aluise said.
In other action on Monday, the trustees gave final approval for the 2014 municipal budget and, along with it, the schedule of fees for the coming year for a variety of town services, including development reviews, water dedication, park land dedication, and off-street parking charges “in lieu” of provision of actual parking spaces, among many others.
The budget calls for revenues of $4.3 million and expenditures of $4.4 million, a 3.7 percent increase over the budget of the prior year.
The General Fund, which pays the costs of many everyday functions of town government, anticipates revenues of approximately $2 million and expenditures of roughly the same amount, according to a memo to the trustees from Town Administrator Pamela Woods.
The remainder of the budget catalogues the anticipated spending of the town’s special funds, including water, wastewater, irrigation, beautification and others.
The budget reflects a merit-pay raise of up to 2.5 percent for all 25 town employees, depending on their individual qualification under the town’s merit-pay policy. Woods, following an evaluation of her job performance by the trustees at the Tuesday meeting, was granted a raise of 2.5 percent.
In addition, the trustees:
• Approved renewal of the contract with the Garfield County Housing Authority for management of the Silt Senior Housing complex, including a monthly fee hike of $50 per unit that will be covered by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development agency.
• Approved a resolution involving permits for a cabinet manufacturer and woodworker to set up shop at the Silt Commercial Condominiums, 401 Main St.
• Approved a resolution permitting the Camp Colorado River Recreational Vehicle Park to set up operations in the Ferguson Crossing project.
• Reappointed Woods to serve on the Garfield County Senior Programs board for 2014.