Harrison Township trustees continue marijuana appeals, award hazard pay

By: Dean Vaglia | Mount Clemens-Clinton-Harrison Journal | Published September 15, 2022


HARRISON TOWNSHIP — The Harrison Township Board of Trustees heard another marijuana business license appeal at its Sept. 12 meeting.

The board worked through several appeals in prior meetings, though clerk Adam Wit stated they could not get to CHM1’s appeal alongside the others.

“Our ordinance states that at any time after a permit is issued, any information that changes regarding the business needs to be reported to the clerk’s office,” Wit said.

When the building was inspected, township officials were under the impression that the nature of the business had changed after a man who greeted the inspectors, a “business partner of the applicant,” informed the inspectors that the original business was no longer there and that the applicant was “acting as a landlord” for two other business at the site, according to a report from Fire Inspector Lawrence Shackett.

Witt said he believed several other issues noticed by state fire inspectors had been cleared up, but that the township had to deny the permit.

John Merideth, owner of CHM1, came to the meeting to appeal the denial. Merideth stated that the situation was a misunderstanding. CHM1 was now processing products under another company’s name, which Merideth likened to a McDonald’s franchisee making McDonald’s food in that company’s name.

Another supposed miscommunication Merideth addressed was a non-functional processing machine, which he said was being used to display fractionation and has since been thrown away.

Inspectors considered the building vacant, but Merideth disagreed, stating that products labeled and tracked by Metrc, the company that operates the state’s marijuana tracking system, were in the building and the equipment to package products was there. Nothing was actively being packed due to the ongoing appeal process.

After hearing Merideth’s explanation, the board tabled the discussion until the Oct. 10 meeting to allow him to resolve any outstanding issues with CHM1.


ARPA hazard pay
The board approved using $101,500 of American Rescue Plan Act funds to give township employees hazard pay.

Firefighters received $1,000, full-time employees received $500, and part-time employees received $250. Hazard pay was distributed per year worked. If a part-time employee worked in 2021 and 2022, they would receive $500. Elected officials were not eligible for hazard pay.

Trustee Paula Rose expressed confusion at why administrative employees were included in the list, since they worked in the office rather than going out.

“The reality is that, compared to some of our municipal peers, we were back in the office full-time after about six or seven weeks off,” Township Supervisor Ken Verkest said.

To Verkest, employees being back so early required them to interact with the public in the township offices, thus putting them at risk of catching COVID-19. Rather than determining who gets what due to their overall risk level, Verkest opted for the flat amounts rather than trying to quantify each employee’s risk level over the past two years.

The motion was approved 6-1, with Rose providing the lone “nay.”


Security equipment purchase
The board also approved spending $14,664 of funds granted by the Michigan Bureau of Elections to purchase additional election security equipment from SYO Computer Engineering Services.

Items purchased include cameras to monitor drop boxes and new door controls devices for the rooms where election equipment is stored.


Transfer of trust account funds
The board voted to move $5,000 from a trust account into the general fund.

The $5,000 was given to the township by Turri’s Italian Foods on Production Drive to install a sidewalk in lieu of building it on their own. The transfer was recommended by the township attorney due to recent changes to governmental accounting guidelines.