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Mayor: We'll discuss recreational marijuana in 'near future'

By Don Berry
Contributing writer
updated: 5/7/2020 10:56 AM

The Chester City Council once again conducted Monday's council meeting via Zoom, in keeping with the COVID-19 protocol for group meetings. All members were represented except J.D. Maes.

• In response to a question from Alderman Ray Allison as to when the council would make a decision on allowing recreational marijuana to be sold in town, Mayor Tom Page said it is up to his discretion as to when the issue is presented but added that he will probably do so in the near future.

• Tree trimming and lane striping at the Chester Welcome Center have been completed, Page said. Trees have been cut down or trimmed, allowing an unobstructed view from the Welcome Center overlook deck. Also, painting has been completed on the turn lane and some of the driveway shoulders have had more gravel fill added.

• A short discussion was held over the area near Buena Vista and Harrison streets, which has had mud slides this spring. The city engineer and city attorney determined that the mudslides occurred on private property and the road damage was a result from those slides, therefore the City is not responsible.

• The mayor presented his appointments for 2020-21 which amounted to no changes in assignments given to the Aldermen in regards to their respective committees and all the department heads will remain as well. The mayor also extended terms to other positions and boards throughout city government. The council gave its approval.

• Mayor Page told the council that he had held a superintendents meeting with the department heads at the Street Department building. This gave the individuals ample space to spread out, maintaining good safe-distancing.

The Mayor presented an amendment to change the meter readers from the supervision of the Water Department Superintendent to the Gas Department Superintendent. This brought about a lengthy discussion led by Allison concerning the wording in the ordinance. Attorney Kerkhover weighed in on the wording giving an explanation and Page giving an example of the intent for the change. Allison was concerned about the word, "direction" and not "discretion" as it pertained to who would be in supervision over the employees. Eventually the concerns were answered and the council approved unanimously.

• The council approved intergovernmental agreements with Ellis Grove and Washington County over water distribution and rates for the coming year.

• The next council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. May 18.