Council approves building for use as marijuana transport company

GAYLORD — Back in February, James Davis listened as speakers urged the Gaylord City Council to reject his plans for a marijuana transport company that would have been based in a building located at 400 W. Mitchell St., which is next to Gaylord St. Mary Cathedral School.

Mayor Todd Sharrard, who cast the deciding vote against a special use permit for the Mitchell Street building, said then he would welcome Davis to operate the business, Michigan Secure Trucking, in a building that wasn’t so close to a school.

More: Council rejects permit for marijuana transport company next to school

“We are not against any business coming to town regardless of the stigma or nature of the business,” he said.

On Monday night, the council unanimously approved a special use permit to allow Davis’ company to use a building at 219 S. Illinois Ave., which isn’t near a school, for his marijuana transport firm.

Davis, a Gaylord native, was glad he found a building in the city to park vehicles that will be used to transport marijuana.

“This is my hometown and this is where I want to be,” Davis said.

In other matters before the council:

The panel signed off on an application for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for land at Elkview and Commerce Boulevard near Aspen Park.

If approved, the grant will help fund a project that will include an elevated viewing area for the public to observe the city’s elk herd. It also includes additional parking, a building with restrooms, a playground and a 10-foot wide lighted pathway for biking, hiking and cross country skiing in the winter.

City manager Kim Awrey said the project will cost about $783,000 and the CDBG would account for about $557,000 of that amount. If the CDBG is approved, the city’s portion of the project cost would be about $196,000. 

Awrey said the project was included in the city’s capital improvements plan for the 2023-24 fiscal year. If grant funding is approved, the city will aim to complete the project in the 2022-23 fiscal year, she added.

Council also approved a site plan and special use permit for Buddha Holdings LLC, which plans to operate a cannabis growing facility at 2464 Silver Fox Trail.

Finally, council accepted a $485,000 bid from Harbor Springs Excavating for utility improvement work on 5th Street.

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