Hopatcong Council Meeting [11/26] – Residential Sewer Rates Decrease - Medical Marijuana

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The following is the full coverage of the Hopatcong Borough Council Meeting that occurred on November 26, 2019. The primary topics were Sewer Rates, Hudson Ave Sewer Extensions, and Medical Marijuana. You can watch the full video, or the segmented videos in the sections below.

The Council updates were skipped due to the length of the meeting, which included two closed-door executive sessions at the start and end of the meeting.

After the first Executive Session the Hopatcong Borough Council Meeting got underway with a presentation from Lerch, Vinci & Higgins, LLP on the 2019 Sewer Rate Study (Phase II).

Presentation on Sewer Rate Study Phase II (See Video for entire coverage)

BCM 11 26 1The PowerPoint Presentation covered the background of the study, projected revenues, new proposed rates and how they affect projected sewer revenues out to 2022.

The study that was based on the last two years of usage found that Commercial accounts were not paying their fair share of the usage. Therefore, the new changes will be implemented starting January 1, 2020.

  • Residents rates will drop from $322.50 to $300.00 per Quarter

  • Commercial rates also drop to $300.00 per Quarter, but the allowance of usage drops from 22,000 to 10,950 per QTR, with the following overage charges phased in over three years.

Fee per 1,000 gallons consumed in excess of 10,950 gallons per quarter:

    • 2020 - $21.92 per 1,000 gallons
    • 2021 - $24.66 per 1,000 gallons
    • 2022 - $27.40 per 1,000 gallons

According to the study, the revisions will even out the payments between Residential and Commercial accounts in the future.

Selected Public Questions on Sewers: (See Video for entire coverage)

BCM 11 26 2Q: Has Lerch, Vinci & Higgins, LLP done Sewer studies for Hopatcong before, or for other towns?

A: No for Hopatcong, and Yes for other towns

Q: If the residents have been overpaying for years, why are they not getting a refund for overpayment.

A: The study was only based upon the last two years and focuses on what should be done NOW and moving forward in the future.

Q: As our Bonds and Loans drop off what happens? Will we have a plan to do another study in 2022.

A: Yes, this is a good start. We will continue to look at this in the future to see if there any additional changes possible.

Hudson Ave. Sewer Extension Update (See Video for entire coverage)

BCM 11 26 3An update was provided on the proposed Hudson Ave Sewer Extension project. The Mayor who briefly covered the Governor's visit on the HAB topic indicated that the proposal was already on the Governors desk.

Medical Marijuana (See Video for entire coverage)

Kate Gurske, CEO of Innovative, Patient-Center Care Solutions addressed the council regarding the topic of Medical Marijuana and possibility of a Dispensary opening in Hopatcong.

Qualifications: Masters and 10 years in Social Work and for the last seven years she has been a Cannabis educator for individuals and medical professionals.

BCM 11 26 4The following is from her provided handout.

  • Cannabis has been used since the dawn of agriculture as a source of food, fiber, and fuel and since 3000 BC as medicine.
  • Synthetic THC, which is actually stronger and less tolerable than plant-derived THC, is legally PRESCRIBED, approved, and sold by Big Pharma as a schedule III pharmaceutical called Marinol.
  • In 2003, the federal government obtained US Patent #6630507 for "Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants." This was done because there is a great deal of evidence to suggest that CBD is neuro protective. It can prevent the long-term damage of strokes, traumatic brain injuries, and neurodegenerative disorders like MS, concussions, and alcohol-related diseases.
  • Studies overwhelmingly conclude that, as a demographic, teens in adult-use states are NOT using more cannabis.
  • The available data strongly suggests that licensed cannabis retailers are NOT associated with increases in neighborhood crime. The research actually shows that crime rates drop in areas with dispensaries- More eyes on the street!
  • Legalization causes an initial spike in cannabis prices followed by a steady and gradual decline to a level that competes with the illicit market (Smart, 2017).
  • At the national level, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, in its own 2013 survey of the literature, concluded that cannabis use does not lead consumers to commit crime.
  • From a Forbes, April 2018, report: "In legal adult use cannabis states," the analysts wrote, "the number of binge drinking sessions per month (for states with legal adult use marijuana through 2016) was 9% below the national average."
  • Today, a medicinal flower can yield a percentage of up to 30% but averages about 20%. The way it has been modified to achieve the current level of THC or CBD is simple botany. Growers focus on cultivating only female plants, which hold the flowers that contain resin with healing compounds like CBD and THC.
  • The New Jersey law is not yet finalized. In other adult use states, there are strict limits to how much THC a product can contain to be sold in a dispensary.

For more information, visit www.CannabiSisters.com or email Kate@CannabiSisters.com.

The council gathered her contact information.


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