According to Scott Pearson of the Public Works Department, approximately 90% of the changes to the law were verbatim from Washington State’s new law. The biggest change in the law is the process of acquiring medical marijuana. Previously, those with prescriptions had to bring their medical records to the city and pay a $100 filing fee in order to fill their prescriptions. This was problematic for the city as it could have violated health privacy and it treated patients with prescriptions for medical marijuana differently from any other patient with prescriptions. Under the revised law, this responsibility is placed on the collective garden to have and maintain medical records of patients for three years and the $100 filing fee has been rescinded.
Another notable change in an effort to mirror the state policy is the revision of the 500 foot buffer to a 1000 foot buffer as laid out in the state I-502 code. Definitions from the state code were incorporated into the law as well as the state’s refuse policies, which are very elaborate. The city added in allowance for signage, similar to the state. Additionally, collective gardens were previously allowed in residential zones and now they are prohibited. Permits are now non-transferable, so when a garden moves they must go through the permit process again.
Fire Chief Todd Strozyk reported that the fire department has two new thermal imaging cameras and gas detectors which were bought with a grant from the L.V. Raymond Foundation. The cameras were useful in a recent fire on Highway 6.
Police Chief Chick Spoor explained that the police department is working with the Weyerhaeuser mill to create a response plan to a workplace or mass violence incident. The Raymond police force and some members of the South Bend and County forces did a walk-through of the mill to get a feel for the layout and point out safe areas for shelter. “Ultimately what we’re going to do is put together some type of drill so we can practice what we put in place,” Chief Spoor said.
Parsons provided the Council with a request from the Stan Hatfield South Fork Industrial Park to relocate some very critical sewage lines under the Willapa River. “I don’t know what they’re planning on doing, but this is a very critical line. Raw sewage from South Bend and Raymond is pumped through this line continuously throughout a 24 hour period. It cannot be bypassed it cannot be removed or anything else,” Parsons said. The plan provided by the developer is preliminary, and the Council voiced that they need more information.