Egg Harbor Board OKs Marijuana Questions on Spring Ballot

The village trustees of Egg Harbor voted unanimously on Jan. 14 to put the question of medical and recreational marijuana before its voters on the April 2 ballot in the form of nonbinding advisory referenda.

Village attorney William Vande Castle provided the trustees with a written analysis of several ways they can approach the question, using recent referenda questions used elsewhere and pointing out that local questions tend to be more broad-based while statewide questions get more specific because they tend to serve as the basis for future statewide legislation.

Village Administrator Ryan Heise pointed out to the trustees that Wisconsin is surrounded by states that have passed some form of marijuana legislation, as well as the entire country of Canada.

Trustee Bob Dickson said it’s a shame the Door County Board of Supervisors refused to put the questions to a referendum when they came up before them in December, “so we’re going to do it here.”

Outgoing trustee Paula Cashin asked Heise and his staff to have the referenda wording ready for the next village board meeting.

The board also heard a TIF 101 presentation by Daniel Lindstrom, a planning and community-development manager with Vierbicher, a planning/engineering firm with a number of offices around the state.

Heise said he asked Lindstrom to give the tax incremental financing primer because the brokers for the Alpine property said the potential developer will be “exploring financial assistance from the village.”

In addition to providing the basics on what a TIF is and how a municipality can use it for a development project, Lindstrom advised the village on how to be set up for success. This includes making certain the developer has no other financing options by using the “but for” principle (meaning the project would not happen but for the creation of a TIF) and having a frank discussion with the developer about the project and the expected rates of return.

The trustees also charged the administrative staff to find out what other municipalities charge rent for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). The Egg Harbor contract expires in 2020, and the USPS has proposed dropping from the current $15.52 it pays per square foot (or $1,800 per month) to $10.92 per square foot (or $1,266.75 per month).