Finance Committee discusses Capital Improvement Plan; medical marijuana center

By Juhi Varma


Malden City Council’s Finance Committee continued their discussion and review of Mayor Gary Christenson’s proposed three-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which the mayor submitted at the beginning of the new year. The $22.8 million plan is divided into ten parts: allocating funds to the Cemetery Department; Parks and Repair of Streets and Sidewalks; Department of Public Works; Fire Department; Information Technology Department; Library; Permits, Inspections and Planning Services; Pine Banks Park; Police Department; Water Utilities Department. In attendance were Malden Redevelopment Authority’s Steve Wishoski, City Controller Charles Ranaghan and Engineer Steve O’Neil.

This week’s discussion focused on Malden’s various parks—trees, parking lots, new playing fields, tot lot safety, and the installation of better lights, fences, and water fountains at these public places.

“I know that, especially in Councillor (James) Nestor’s ward, there are a lot of licensed childcare centers, and none of them can use the parks because they don’t meet state regulations,” said Councillor Peg Crowe. “Its things like the height of the swings etc.”

The CIP will continue to be reviewed at upcoming Finance Committee meetings before being brought up for discussion in front of the full council.

At last week’s full council meeting, the city council, led by Ward 4 Councillor James Nestor, made it clear that medical marijuana treatment centers were not welcome in Malden. The council passed an ordinance which permitted clinics dispensing medical marijuana to be set up in areas zoned for industrial use. However, these clinics could not be within 400 feet of homes, schools, or parks.
“Under suspension of docket rules, the ordinance committee drafts an ordinance relative to local licensing of medical marijuana treatment centers,” read out City Clerk Karen Anderson Tuesday night. The council unanimously approved Nestor’s motion to refer the matter to the Ordinance Committee. “We want to expand on what we did last week,” Nestor said. “We want to avoid oversights.”