One of the many ongoing discussions the mayor has with the Norwalk Economic Development Corp. is matching different industries with the city. “Every job is not right for this community,” Mayor Rob Duncan said Wednesday. “We have good jobs available. We will look for jobs that will continue to fit our community well.” City council voted 4-3 to amend portions of chapter 513 of the Norwalk codified ordinances to provide for the state-regulated cultivation of medical marijuana within the city. “Honestly, I thought the vote would go in a different direction,” Duncan said the next day. “First of all, I didn’t think that it would pass. Secondly, I thought that if it did pass, they (council members) were aware that (a veto) was my position.”
Representatives of Standard Wellness Co., LLC, made a presentation about their proposed business. While Duncan didn’t say later if Standard Wellness was or wasn’t a good fit for Norwalk, the mayor said one of the issues is “getting people to work.” Also, the mayor noted with possible Standard Wellness jobs paying $12 to $14 per hour, there already are jobs available in and around the city paying about the same.
As council discussed this business opportunity and medical-marijuana, Councilman Chris Castle said the “dollars and cents conversation” took a turn Tuesday into what the local government could make off taxes. Castle co-sponsored the legislation with Kelly Beck.
“But we are looking at $8 million of skilled labor … to upgrade the building,” Castle said, referring to where Standard Wellness would be housed. “How do we downplay $1.5 million in annual payroll just because the local government makes $25,000 from it?”
Now that the mayor plans to veto council’s vote, Castle said he expects Standard Wellness to be one of the 12 recipients of state-issued Class I licenses to cultivate medical marijuana — but probably in another community. Another 12 licenses will be issued for Class II.
“That team of players will get one of the 12 (Class I) licenses,” Castle said. Council must have a fifth vote supporting Castle’s legislation to overturn the mayor’s expected veto. “Even if we get this fifth vote, this company is not interested in Norwalk. This company is moving on,” Castle said.