At the Tuesday night regular meeting of the Mexico Beach City Council, the city took the steps to ban medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits.

At the Tuesday night regular meeting of the Mexico Beach City Council, the city took the steps to ban medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits.

The council unanimously passed Ordinance 670 which prohibits such dispensaries.

In November of last year, the citizens of Florida passed by referendum, putting in place a state constitutional amendment allowing for medical marijuana.

During a slow roll out of state regulations, the city of Mexico Beach passed a moratorium on medical marijuana within the city.

With guidance now coming from the state on medical marijuana, Mexico Beach officials decided to ban dispensaries citing "potential adverse impacts on the health, safety, and welfare of residents and business from secondary effects associated with the distribution of cannabis."

Trash pickup

The city council also unanimously passed an ordinance which would allow for trash pickup two times per week year round.

That change would add another pickup during the winter months.

The city was asked by a member of the public to search for a way out of taking garbage to the Bay County incinerator to reduce the cost of travel.

The city is currently forced by Bay County to use the incinerator.

Leave No Trace

Nearly half a year into a Leave No Trace ordinance and the council is still having headaches on how to best enforce the ordinance.

Tuesday the council spent more than an hour discussing either Leave No Trace or the Beach Vendor ordinance.

Going over draft ordinances that would amend Leave No Trace and begin a beach vendor permitting process, council members discussed everything from chair weight to catamaran sailboats.

While the word "clarify" was used multiple times, that task proved elusive.

In the end, it was decided to leave the Leave No Trace draft in its basic form, with the Beach Vendor ordinance allowing for slight wiggle room for beach businesses, by allowing them to store materials in storage bins placed up the beach and close to the business which has given them permission to operate.

The largest question of the evening was how to handle the chairs now in use behind the El Governor Motel.

While Mayor Al Cathey argued that the chairs should be judged as integral to the existing beach business, a majority of the council, in the end, stated a belief that the chairs should be removed from the beach daily.

The council then decided the draft ordinance should give the existing business a year to handle the chair issue.

Changes to the draft ordinances will be drawn up by the city attorney with further debate and a vote in the future.

Coastal Parasail

City Administrator Mell Smigielski informed the council that in the month since Coastal Parasail was warned about their performance under Leave No Trace, that performance has greatly improved.

Coastal Parasail was contracted in May to pick up the beach during the weekends and holidays.

Citing improved communication, the city administrator asked that the contract be continued through the Labor Day holiday, after which the city will take over all pickup duties.

Smigielski also added that Coastal Parasail had offered to finish out the contract at half price.

Comprehensive Plan

Mexico Beach's Planning and Zoning Board Chairman Jim Bush was on hand to update the council on his board's work to update the city's comprehensive plan.

The Planning and Zoning Board held a public workshop on Aug. 1 to discuss said comprehensive plan.

While Bush said that public participation at the workshop was limited, he added that the input that the board received was greatly appreciated.

The Planning and Zoning Board will hold another public workshop on Aug. 15 to further discuss the comprehensive plan.

Development

While the city was scheduled to read two ordinances that would change two separate parcels' land use designations that matter has been delayed until the first September meeting on the advice of the city attorney.

According to the attorney, both properties would require two separate ordinances each, one for an amendment to the comprehensive plan and another for the changing of the designation.

The attorney also added that since the 30th Street North property was over 10 acres, those changes would have to be approved at the state level after approval by the city.

Canal Park

While the majority of the work is done at Canal Park, Public Works Director Philip Hall informed the council that a few wrap-up projects needed to be looked at.

Those projects included installation of three dockside pedestals, running over a concrete curb and general drainage work.

While Hall informed the council that the city's workers would be able to handle the drainage work, he said that the curb work and pedestal installation would have to be contracted out.

The council approved work, not to exceed $22,000, with those funds coming from remaining grant funds.