On April 7, Dolores voters will choose four Town Board trustees and decide whether to allow marijuana businesses and off-highway vehicles to operate in town.
The town board recently approved sending the OHV and pot issues to voters. Currently, retail marijuana operations are prohibited in town, and OHVs are not allowed on city streets.
The marijuana ballot issue will have several questions about the types of retail marijuana operations and how they should be taxed.
Voters will be asked to approve or deny marijuana operations for recreational and medical use, manufacturing, testing facilities and cultivation.
The marijuana tax questions are separate from the main marijuana decision and are moot if voters reject marijuana operations altogether.
A tax question will ask whether each marijuana sale should be subject to an occupation tax (transaction fee) of no more than $5. Another will ask whether there should be a 5% excise tax on the sale of unprocessed, cultivated retail marijuana to a retail store.
If the measure for retail marijuana operations fails, a permanent ban on retail marijuana sales and operations would go into effect.
On the OHV issue, the Dolores Chamber of Commerce dropped its ballot petition after the Town Board added it to the April 7 ballot. Discussion about the ballot language will take place at a Town Board meeting and workshop at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 27.
The Secretary of State’s deadline for ballot language is Feb. 4.
Implementation would be pursuant to town regulations and ordinances.
The land-use code would be changed to address the new businesses if allowed. Code enforcement, security and mitigation of impacts such as odor and lighting also would be addressed.
Both issues have been controversial, prompting the decisions to be decided by voters rather than the Town Board.
Mayor Chad Wheelus criticized the chamber’s attempt to petition the OHV question onto the ballot, saying he felt they were “circumventing the board.”
Wheelus said the OHV issue deserved more community meetings and impact studies, like what the marijuana issue went through before a decision was made to put it on the ballot.
But chamber director Susan Lisak said the chamber felt it was important to get the issue decided in time for the summer tourism season.
Board member James Biard didn’t agree the OHV question needed additional study. He felt the board was taking too long to make a decision and people in town have already made up their minds on the issue.
Also on the April 7 ballot, voters will decide who will serve on four board positions.
Terms that expire in April include those for Wheelus, Biard, Duvall Truelsen and Robert “Cody” Folsom.
Nomination petitions may be picked up at Town Hall and must be turned in by Jan. 27.
The election is by mail, and ballots will be sent out to each registered voter.