Mendota one step closer to opening up city to commercial marijuana cultivation

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After seven years in the red the economy in Mendota is starting to pick up little by little and city leaders are looking for something to give it a speed boost. (KFSN)

After seven years in the red the economy in Mendota is starting to pick up little by little and city leaders are looking for something to give it a speed boost.

"We can either look at a cannabis cultivation ordinance or we're gonna look at people taxing themselves," said City Manager Vince Dimaggio.

Dimaggio said both options are on the table, but the pot business, he said, could bring in half a million dollars in tax revenue, a year if the city council approves a change to the marijuana ordinance.

"It's important, if we are gonna go down this road, that we do it responsibly, that we do it in an area that will be out of sight, out of mind, and that we control it."

Dimaggio said there are several business interested in moving in. They would only be able to operate in this industrial area on the outskirts of town, away from schools, and within view of the police department.

Police Chief Greg Andreotti is already onboard.

"This'll be enclosed, controlled location, security measures in place, regulated by the city."

Chief Andreotti said it is what the department needs to keep officers on the street and the city out of the red. Without this kind of business the Chief said tougher choices will be ahead.

"Police officers could be laid off, public works employees could be laid off, the city has to be able to identify where they will be able to cut cost to be able to maintain and stay in the black."

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims disagrees and said the same promises were made in Coalinga and in other states-- similar actions increased criminal activity.

"It really gives them a false sense of security that this is gonna solve all their budget problems when it won't."

Back in Mendota the City Council will make the final call, but the public will also have a chance to weigh in.

The city is talking about this issue as we speak in a meeting that is open to public comment. The City Manager is expecting to face opposition, but he said there is a good chance this change to the ordinance will be approved.

Related Topics:
politicsfresno countymarijuanaMendota
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