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By DAVID CAMPHOUSE
At the Monday, April 25, Pike County board meeting, board members unanimously denied the rezoning request made by Ganja Thai LLC to rezone a parcel of land in Martinsburg from agricultural to industrial use in order to accommodate an adult use cannabis grow/infusion/transport facility.
“I would make a motion that we deny the request to rezone,” County Board member Andy Borrowman said.
Board member Amy Gates seconded, and the motion carried without opposition. Members Derek Ross and Mark Mountain were absent from the meeting.
The decision to deny the rezoning application was met with applause from dozens of Martinsburg residents and property owners in attendance at the board meeting.
Dozens of residents who live or own property near the proposed Ganja Thai grow site had voiced their opposition to the planned cannabis growing facility at last month’s county board meeting.
Concerns of residents centered on light pollution from security cameras and security lights, as well as concerns over the smell of cannabis emanating from the grow facility into adjoining properties. In addition, residents voiced concerns over traffic from employees coming and going from the facility at all hours of the day and night.
Following the vote to deny the Ganja Thai request, the concerned residents and property owners left the courtroom.
Board members also approved borrowing $1.1 million to purchase the East Building of the former JDL Properties at the Pittsfield Industrial Park to house the Pike County Highway Department.
The low bid from Central State Bank at a rate of 1.874% was approved for the loan.
Board President Jim Sheppard reported that the county was pursuing funds for the building by way of a grant submitted through Congressman Darin LaHood’s office.
The board went on to approve the payment of $2,500 of accommodation use tax funds toward the annual Lincoln Days Civil War reenactment at Lake Pittsfield.
In addition, the board approved paying $5,000 toward the commission of a mural in Barry.
Pike County Health Department (PCHD) administrator, Anita Andress, gave a report on behalf of PCHD. Among many other statistics, Andress reported that PCHD had administered well over 6,000 COVID-19 vaccination doses at 98 vaccination clinics.
Andress went on to say that in the course of developing PCHD’s state-required IPLAN, PCHD had identified mental health and food insecurity as two primary public health challenges facing the county.
“Food insecurity was something that was brought up,” Andress said. “It’s an indication of our high poverty levels. As a county, we’re poor. There are 5,000 Medicaid people that use our clinic.”