TRINIDAD — A new primarily medical marijuana facility was approved at the April 21 regular meeting of the Trinidad City Council, and a CIP (Capital Improvement Projects) meeting is set for this coming Monday, April 27. Trinidad City Manager Gabriel Engeland is asking citizens to help the city decide which projects are the most important to the community. “The public is encouraged to give input into the framework and prioritization of the CIP schedule, Engeland said in an email. Community members are invited to add their suggestions to the city’s (CIP) Monday, April 27 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall. The extension of the one percent sales tax passed by voters in 2014 expires at the end of 2020. Information in the final 2015 city budget indicates revenue in the Capital Projects Fund can only be expended on capital outlay projects and cannot be used for any General Fund purpose. Total city sales tax is currently four percent with three percent earmarked for the general fund. Total CIP expenditure estimates outweigh projected revenues by $2.44 million. Revenues in the CIP is tallied at $4.1 million while expenditures came in at $6.54 million. Matching funds for municipal CIP’s comes from various agencies within state government, primarily in the form of grants. In light of this discrepancy, city
staff decided to make adjustments to the CIP schedule. According to the city’s CIP worksheet, projects that are currently postponed until fiscal year 2016 include partial work at the Welcome Center located just off the I-25 Main Street exit, E-warning siren, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) curb intersects, and Central Park restrooms. Other projects being canceled this year are storm drainage, river cleanup, Topeka Avenue widening, and Monument Lake docks. Reasoning for the delayed and dropped CIP’s are due to not being able to receive matching funds at the state level. “Some of the grant submittals for reimbursements didn’t come through,” Engeland said. “Some of the carry-over funds from 2014 didn’t materialize, and what we found out when I got here, and the finance director got here, is we have proposed roughly $1.2 million more than we could complete this year. Meanwhile, this week the city council in a 6-1 vote granted Kenneth Waller licenses to open Lucky Monkey Buds at 137 W. Cedar Street in downtown Trinidad. Waller and Dr. Markus Hamm, MD who specializes in emergency medicine, explained the new marijuana facility is specializing in CBD’s, the primary medical component in strains of the plant that carry little THC. Dr. Hamm, who is now an employee of Waller, presented a 15-minute slide show to the city council at this week’s meeting. Council member Joe Bonato was impressed with the presentation in spite of his consistent no votes on all marijuana related issues. “Dr. Hamm, I’m very happy to hear that you are going to work with mostly medical marijuana,” Bonato said. With that said, Bonato continues to oppose new marijuana licenses in the city due to the several establishments that are already in operation. “There are so many right now that it’s kind of jammed packed,” he said. Trinidad resident Gloria Ahern, who owns Curves Trinidad on Commercial Street is concerned about the access and parking issues for her older clients with the street being a construction zone and the increasing pot outlets present in the downtown area. Another marijuana business, M&M Distributing, is located across the street from Curves. “I think it’s way too many in one place,” Ahern said during the council session. From a security standpoint, Ahern said she is uncomfortable about adding one more marijuana business to downtown. “Being kind of overrun by the marijuana dispensaries doesn’t make me comfortable,” she said.