MOORE HAVEN — Moore Haven City Council adopted a medical marijuana moratorium after a public hearing on February 21. The moratorium is similar to what other cities have done across Florida as the state legislature continues to debate regulations on the new industry. Attorney Steve Ramunni said growing, processing, manufacturing, distributing and sale of medical cannabis are temporarily prohibited. The council approved the purchase of a security system for the water plant with Innovative Security.
Councilman Pat Lucas said she felt Innovative Security had a better system with more cameras with higher resolution. She also mentioned a better warranty and maintenance agreement. The City will pay $117.68 per month for the service for the next five years. The council approved the demolition of the Lundy Building at 43 Avenue J with the use of capital funds.
“I think it’s time it comes down, it’s an eyesore. I must commend the county on tearing down the motel, it looks good,” Vice Mayor David McGee said.
The price was $112,500. Mayor Brett Whidden said he wants the building gone but can’t justify paying this high a price. “It’s worth about $20,000 and we’re going to pay $112,500?” “As a businessman would you pay that kind of money and end up with that piece of property?” Ms. Lucas said they have tried to get the building down since she was on the council. “This is the closest we’ve gotten. I think the Economic Development Board is trying,” she said. Mr. Whidden said cities get in financial trouble when they start spending this kind of money. “Everybody is trying to get business but nothing is happening,” he said. Councilman Jake Eighner said he thinks a developer could come in and purchase the property from the city. “I think we should find a realtor and put the piece of property on the market. It will be a long process,” he added.
Ms. Lucas said they aren’t demolishing the building just for the city but for the citizens. County Commissioner John Ahern said the buildings are a turn off to anyone interested in investing in this community. “It is not worth what you’re doing but it is an investment back into the community,” he said. “Open the door for an opportunity for some growth.” The city acquired the Anne-tique Building at 201 First Street for back taxes of $9,800.
“I can justify that one. That ought to be a piece of cake. We just spent $112,000,” the Mayor said. Another food truck invasion is planned for Monday, April 3, in the downtown parks. The council also debated whether to purchase a $7,100 light tower from Kelly Tractor to use during special events like Christmas on the Caloosahatchee. There is a two year warranty included. A used light tower would cost about $3,000. The council intends to further research the purchase and discuss it at a future meeting. Mayor Whidden said he would like regular reports from animal control. He said one report showed 65 animals picked up in the city but he sees the same cats and dogs in his neighborhood. “If we’re picking up this many dogs and cats, they should get by luck get one of the ones I see.”
Whidden said he wants monthly reports and the address on where animals are picked up by animal control. The City plans settlement discussions with GE Corporation in an ongoing litigation on March 22.
Ms. Lucas said the city should consider building a small skate board park for teens.