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El Dorado Springs city manager Bruce Rogers, left, and mayor Cory Gayman, center, accept a check for $17,874 from Ewell Lawson of the Missouri Public Utility Alliance.

$17K+ grant received from utility alliance

Three ordinances dealing with the sale and distribution of medical marijuana had their second readings and approval by the El Dorado Springs city council during its regular Monday, Jan. 6, meeting in city hall.

Bill 19-07, dealing with the merchant licenses tax of medical marijuana; Bill 19-08, amending zoning requirements for marijuana sales to be in compliance with Amendment 2, passed by Missouri voters in 2018; and Bill 19-09, dealing with regulations and consumption, all had their first readings unanimously approved at the last meeting, Monday, Dec. 23. Mayor Cory Gayman and members Nathan Murrell, Jimmy Luster and Brett Entrikin voted again for the second readings and adoption, with Nick Bland absent.

The taxes, as indicated in Bill 19-07, are $3,000 for marijuana cultivation and $450 each for dispensaries, infused products manufacturing and testing and/or transportation.

Elsewhere, three council members were appointed to various committees, filling voids caused by the resignation of former mayor Brad True. Gayman was appointed to the Kaysinger Basin regional planning committee, Murrell was appointed to the picnic committee and Entrikin was appointed to the planning commission. All received unanimous approval from council.

In other action, Ewell Lawson, vice-president of member services for the Missouri Public Utility Alliance, presented the city with a check for $17,874, a grant to be used for the purchase of a new substation transformer for the industrial park.

“As you know, having a municipal utility has important benefits to the community,” Lawson said. “Most notably, there’s high reliability and service responsiveness to your customers, local control and improved economic development choices.”

Lawson also spoke about a bill in the upcoming session of the Missouri General Assembly which would kill the Grain Belt Express Project, a transmission line originating in Kansas and running through northern Missouri, which provides electricity to El Dorado Springs and 34 other cities with locally owned utilities.

“There’s a few landowners in the area who don’t want to see it go forward,” Lawson explained. “The problem with that is, this is a $12.8 million savings to the power pool to deliver this energy from Kansas into Missouri. We’re then able to supplant energy we’re buying somewhere else with this energy at a lower cost.”

Lawson will lobby against the bill in order to keep the Grain Belt Express alive.

The next meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, at city hall.

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