|Lanesborough Approves Extension for Cannabis Dispensary|
|By Brian Rhodes, iBerkshires Staff |
04:32PM / Wednesday, August 10, 2022
|Lev Kelman, owner of 660 Cheshire Road, said at Monday's board meeting that he expects construction to begin soon but wanted an extension in case of delays. |
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Selectmen approved a one-year extension for operating and manufacturing for Royal Hemp LLC, which is in the process of constructing a new building on its property.
Lev Kelman, owner of 660 Cheshire Road, said at Monday's board meeting that he expects construction to begin soon but wanted a 24-month extension in case of delays. Kelman is one of only two licenses allowed by town bylaws.
"With everything the construction industry is going through now; the shortages of people, the shortages of equipment, the shortages of materials, I just realized that, by October, my plot might not change even though I'm going to put $500,000 into it," he said, noting he has a seven-month construction schedule. "We have to go get materials, we have to go get panels, we have to get whatever we have to get, and it's not easy. It's all constrained."
The Planning Board approved the new structure plans for the property in December of last year. The board was willing to grant Kelman an extension and would grant more time if more work went into the property.
"I would be amenable to the one year and I would think that, if we see structure there, we would grant him another extension," said board Chair John Goerlach.
Kelman also said on-site consumption is being considered by the Cannabis Control Commission and that he wants to add considerations for that to the building plans once the law is changed.
In other business, the board has approved $2,000 for the Police Station Building Committee to perform a needs assessment for adding ambulance services to the project.
The committee requested this at the recommendation of architect Brian Humes, who met with the committee again last week. Humes, of Jackunsci Humes Architects, has made the two proposed designs for the new station.
"He said he can do that without a physical site, so that's the natural next step for him to be able to take," committee Chair Kristen Tool said. "And that would mean he would just talk with Jen [Weber] and Rob [Derksen] about what they need, what space can be reconfigured from the designs that he already did to maximize the shared spaces."
Tool updated the board on the department, which moved to its temporary location on 545 South Main St. last week and asked if the signage outside the old station could be moved or covered to avoid confusion.
"Apparently, it's cemented in the ground," said Police Chief Robert Derksen. "They're thinking they might have to use a backhoe or some sort of front-loader. They wanna be careful to preserve the sign."
The board approved:
• A set of updated risk management policies for the town. Town Administrator Joshua Lang said the updated policies could make the town eligible for some insurance credits.
"The town's goal is to provide a safe and secure environment," he said. "That being said, we conducted, as a risk management committee, an audit of the various policies and procedures that were missing. We worked as a committee to update these policies and procedures."
• An organizational strategic plan for the town. Lang said the goal of this plan is to add value to the town's organizational structure, which should allow for more programming and events.
"I conducted various surveys, focus groups with department heads and staff members to look at areas that we want to improve internally ... We are working to build a very positive workplace culture here," he said.
• $319,060.40 to go to J.H. Maxymillian Inc. for the Summer Street culvert replacement and related work. The town will send the funds upon receipt of $245,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funds, which the ARPA Committee budgeted for the project.
• $29,750 for assessing services for fiscal 2023.
• Committee reappointments for the town and a draft of updated committee policies.
The next Select Board is Aug. 22.