BRIDGEPORT – The Logan Township Council and local residents prepared to discuss a proposal for an alternative treatment center coming to their area at their meeting on Aug. 21, but the proposal submitted by Compassionate Care had been withdrawn.
The original formal application submitted by Compassionate Care Health and Wellness Company, Inc., and its resolution was on the night’s agenda giving Council the option to take action on the proposal or table it.
But before the meeting began, Logan Township Solicitor Brian Duffield notified those in attendance that Compassionate Care had withdrawn their proposal. Duffield surmised that the company didn’t have control of the land, or it may have been a contract issue.
According to Compassionate Care’s proposal sent to Duffield, to obtain a license from the New Jersey Department of Health an alternative treatment center has to gain approval from the Logan community, and approval for their proposed location. The primary location for Compassionate Care would be on block 701, lot 3 on Repaupo Station Road in Logan Township.
He said that Compassionate Care could resubmit their proposal, and a special meeting could be called to hear the thoughts of residents.
Council invited those attending this meeting to speak anyway. Kim Taylor felt that medicinal marijuana was too new, and still against federal law. “We’re not getting any state money for this,” Taylor said. She came to the meeting with a petition stating there would be no marijuana use in Logan Township.
Repaupo’s Glenn Hughes said there were other options available, and most people in Logan don’t want it. Hughes pointed out that there were asthmatics around town.
Another Repaupo resident warned that Logan’s taxes will rise because the town will need more police. “If you go to the right doctor, you can get treated for anything,” she claimed.
Robert Abington of Repaupo says the Center offers no benefits for Logan Township. “Everyone says its medical marijuana but it’s still pot,” he insisted. “It looks like a compound out there.”
Blair Nixon of Compassionate Care disputed that, along with other claims of barbed wire. “Medical marijuana has nothing to do with street distribution,” he explained. “This is much needed by many people. There is no downside to this.”
“You do not get into this facility without a card from the state,” he added. “And you can only obtain the marijuana from a physician who is authorized to write prescriptions.” The card would cost $100.
Deputy Mayor Chris Morris stated, “As soon as the information came in about this application, the mayor directed (Municipal Clerk) Linda Oswald to put it up on Logan’s website. We’re doing everything for transparency.”
Mayor Frank Minor said Compassionate Care would go through a long process if they resubmit. “We’re not hiding anything,” he assured. “We want everyone to know what’s going on.”
Logan Township Police Lieutenant Joseph Flatley said the position of the local force on medicinal marijuana is that, “We do not support possession, distribution or recreational use, but we have to abide by the guidelines of the Attorney General.”
Compassionate Care President and principal owner Kevin Nixon is a lifelong resident of Logan Township. Nixon was treated with medical marijuana at a young age due to seizures.
“The term “alternative care” obviously carries a stigma with it,” Nixon observed. “I believe there is a lot of misinformation out there.”
Elsewhere in a Council update, Councilmember Art Smith reported that the Planning Board had approved two site plans for buildings. They were expected to be distribution centers and office buildings.
In his Police report, Flatley noted that 26 Logan residents had participated in a Junior Police Academy with Woodbury.
In other news, Council approved a bond ordinance for various capital improvements that would appropriate $2,125,000 and authorize issuing of $2 million in bonds or notes to finance part of the cost.
The night’s resolutions saw Council approve the purchase of one 2019 Rescue Pumper fire truck from First Choice Fire Apparatus through the HGAC Cooperative Purchasing Program and a contract of $499,293.
Council approved payment of $142,964 to RE Pierson Construction for the fiscal year 2017 New Jersey Department of Transportation Township Line Road roadway improvements project. They also authorized Engineer Annina Hogan to prepare bid specs for Heron Drive and Beckett Road projects.
In new business, Council approved the Logan Township Volunteer Fire Department’s request to hold a coin drop/toss fundraiser by the traffic light at Center Square Road and Beckett Road. Dates would be Sept. 7 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Sept. 8 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Oct. 12 from 3 to 7 p.m., and Oct. 13 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
by Robert Holt