SAGINAW, MI – Those eager to light up in a public spot might want to think twice after recent action by the City of Saginaw.
The Saginaw City Council adopted two ordinance changes on Monday, Aug. 24, as the city moves towards legalizing recreational marijuana within city limits. The move comes after the council previously approved other ordinance changes relating to issues such as recreational marijuana facility licensing and zoning issues on Aug. 11.
Both new ordinance changes were unanimously approved by the City Council, with no discussion or objections.
The first ordinance prohibits the consuming of marijuana products in any manner or form in public places within city limits or smoking marijuana in a private place where prohibited by the property owner.
“Violations of this chapter shall be deemed a public nuisance in accordance with chapter 94 of this code of ordinances, and any person who violates this chapter is responsible for a class C municipal civil infraction,” reads the newly approved ordinance.
Meanwhile, the second ordinance focuses on the consumption of tobacco products as well as marijuana products and sets the groundwork for regulations in city parks.
The ordinance reads, “For purposes of this section, smoke or smoking means possessing a cigarette, e-cigarette, cigar, hookah, or pipe that contains tobacco, marijuana, or any other product that is lit or burning; lighting a cigarette, e-cigarette, cigar, hookah, or pipe that contains tobacco or any other product; or exhaling smoke from burning tobacco or any other burning product that is contained in a hookah, pipe, cigar, cigarette and/or e-cigarette.”
According to the ordinance, no individual is allowed to engage in any of the aforementioned activities and smoking in any city park, including, any playground, tennis court, community center or outdoor athletic complex owned by Saginaw.
Violating the ordinance could result in a fine of $50, according to the ordinance, and community service may be ordered in lieu of a fine.
Both ordinances will become effective as of Sept. 3.
The Saginaw City Council initially opted out of Michigan’s recreational marijuana system in July 2019, but a “sunset clause” in the ordinance stipulated that the block on city-based marijuana businesses would automatically end in a year if the city took no further steps.
The council then voted in June to push back the “sunset clause” that would automatically repeal the ordinance blocking marijuana businesses from operating in the city, leaving the clause to take effect on Nov. 17.
The Saginaw City Council unanimously approved numerous items on the consent agenda during Monday’s meeting, including an agreement to repair rough railroad crossings in the area.
The council approved a $63,366.32 agreement with US Trackworks to rehabilitate the roadway approaches at the Davenport Avenue, East Holland Avenue, and South Jefferson Avenue railroad crossings as part of the 2020 MDOT Local Grade Crossing Surface Program.
The City of Saginaw originally applied for funding under the program in September 2019 to help fund 60% of the costs to reconstruct the crossing. According to the approved agreement, Huron & Eastern Railroad Company is required to provide a 40 percent match for the reconstruction.
The Saginaw City Commission also approved the following consent agenda items:
– A software purchase of $3,500 for the Technical Services Department.
– A first amendment to the CDBG Agreement with First Ward Community Center to increase its original allocation by $26,667, for a new total of $60,450, for infrastructure improvements to the building.
– Approval of a purchase with the John E. Green Company for $5,909 for the repair of the exhaust vent fan at the indoor gun range for the Police Department.
– Numerous vehicle purchases, including $95,714 for a 2021 International HV607 SBA Cab and Chasis; $37,725 for equipment installation for the Maintenance and Service Division, $81,132 for three 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Pickup trucks for the Maintenance and Service Division, $42,261 for a 2021 GMC Sierrra 3500 one-ton Dump Truck for the Maintenance and Service Division and the ratification of a purchase with Highway and Heavy Parts, LLC for $3,307 for engine parts for a 10-yard dump truck for the Maintenance and Service Division.
– A Construction and Maintenance Easement Agreement with the County of Saginaw for $1 for the Tuscola Pedestrian Pathway project for the Engineering Section, Right of Way Division.
– Ratification of a purchase with Great Lakes Power Service, Inc. for $2,975 for the inspection and testing of the Kochville Raw Water Pump Station’s transformer and power supply cables for the Water Treatment Division.