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Economic changes at the forefront in Morehead city council’s June meeting

Samantha Morrill

The Morehead City Council held discussion on multiple pertinent economic developments for the upcoming fiscal year at their June meeting.

Officials had some questions about upcoming zoning regulations for medical cannabis, including the logistics of both potential dispensaries and production sites. Some members expressed the importance of establishing Morehead’s zoning regulations before business applications open statewide on July 1. Currently, the state’s zoning regulations state dispensaries and other medical cannabis businesses can not be within 1,000 feet of a school or daycare.

City Council member Yvonne Baldwin said during the meeting that the city should make its stance on zoning clear to best serve residents, not just businesses.

“I think when we look historically at things like liquor sales, you know, there’s always controversy about that kind of thing, and we can’t just jump into it and say it’s fine, but I think we do have to use a voice for citizens to know that there are people who really do benefit from it,” said Baldwin.

In the end, the council decided to pass the ordinance’s first reading, so far aligning their zoning ordinances with the state’s.

Officials also said progress on Morehead’s new water treatment plant is moving smoothly, and the facility is approximately 70 percent complete.

Holly McGrath-Rosas, general manager of the Morehead Utility Plant Board, spoke about the city’s upcoming water treatment plant at the meeting. Thanks to the combined efforts of local and state officials, McGrath-Rosas said $22 million has been allocated toward the plant.

“That is tremendous news for this community because I will not have to put that on ratepayers or our customers. Our water touches eight surrounding counties, and that is a huge deal. So, that ripple effect of when we raise rates is felt eight counties wide,” said Rosas.

The Council also approved the city’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year starting July 1, annual budgets for the Morehead-Rowan County Tourism Commission, and annual agreements for several businesses within the current fiscal year.