Three of the five board members present at a recent Bement village board meeting spoke in strong opposition to marijuana sales in the village and requested the village attorney to draft an ordinance prohibiting such sales once state recreational legalization goes into effect Jan. 1.

“I don’t think we need the sale of it inside village limits,” Mark Henderson said.

Woodie Dean and Frank Koebel agreed, though no formal vote was taken.

“As far as I’m concerned (people) are leaving it up to the board (to decide),” Dean said, referencing the nearly empty public meeting the board held for community members to voice their opinions on the issue last month.

Village attorney Susan Nicholas offered the board options it could take regarding the sale of marijuana in the village, including the path of taking no action at all.

“Medical dispensaries get first shot (at recreational licenses),” Nicholas told the board. “The cost of doing it for someone getting a license is so high you’re not going to be seeing individuals getting them.”

Nicholas added that “it’s not likely” Bement would be an area that receives a license, being in the same region as Champaign-Urbana, which has a medicinal marijuana dispensary.

“There is a medical dispensary in the Champaign-Urbana area and the rumor is they’ve already gotten it,” she said.

The village board could vote on an ordinance prohibiting the sale of recreational marijuana at its December meeting.

Tree removal

Village president Pat Tieman told the board there are approximately 10 dead or dying ash trees on village property that need to be removed and replaced.

“The tree company said that he could give us a better deal because of the offseason, so it’d be nice to get it done while it’s cheaper,” he said. “(Village employee) Chad (Corum) would like see that once we move a tree to replace it.”

The board approved an amount not to exceed $20,000 for the removal of trees which will be undertaken by Leaf It To Us, Total Tree Care Plus and the purchase of new trees. Tieman said he “imagines” Corum would plant the new trees - likely hard maples - in their place.

In other news:

–the board approved a flat levy for 2020;

–the board approved a $1,000 donation to Piattran;

–the board approved the annual maintenance agreement with Corrpro for catholic protection and aviation lightbulb replacement for the water tower at a cost of $940; and

–the board approved final report of expenditures for the railroad crossing project on Piatt Street, which is now complete.