St. Johnsbury voters have approved retail sales of marijuana in their community.
Voters at Tuesday’s Town Meeting also re-elected incumbents Daniel J. Kimbell and Brendan Hughes to the select board and approved both the town and school budgets as well as all special appropriation requests.
Town Meeting is traditionally held on the first Tuesday in March but officials decided to delay the vote this year for a month to allow for more members of the public to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.
Yes To Marijuana
Under a state new law, retail marijuana shops can be opened in Vermont cities and towns as long as they are approved by the voters.
Article 27 of the St. Johnsbury ballot which asked, “Shall the voters of the Town of St Johnsbury authorize cannabis retailers in town,” passed by a vote of 785 Yes to 754 No.
St. Johnsbury joins the towns of Danville, Sutton, Burke, Barton, Peacham and Brownington which have also voted to opt-in to the state’s new cannabis legalization law.
Voters in Lyndon and Newport rejected the marijuana sales question.
Kimbell, Hughes Re-Elected
Incumbent selectmen Daniel J. Kimbell and Brendan Hughes were the top voter-getters in a three-way race for two seats on the town select board.
Kimbell received 856 votes followed by Hughes who finished second with 851 votes.
St. Johnsbury Meals-on-Wheels Board President Jerri Ryan finished third with 729 votes.
Hughes works in the St. Johnsbury Academy Admissions/Alumni office and is co-owner with his family of the St. Johnsbury Distillery on Eastern Avenue. Kimbell is an executive with Passumpsic Savings Bank.
Frank Empsall III ran unopposed and was elected to an open three-year seat on the board.
St. Johnsbury voters approved the FY22 school budget of $24,484,785 by a vote of 950-547.
All town budgets were also approved including $2,361,091 to be raised by taxes for the General Fund which passed by a vote of 1043-487.
The town highway fund budget of $2,377,774 to be raised by taxes passed by a vote of 1164-378,
The special services district (police and parks) budget of $1,302,368 to be raised by taxes passed by a vote of 1409-108.
The budgets will also be funded in part by state and federal grants and other revenues not raised by taxes.
St. Johnsbury voters also approved all special appropriation requests totaling $305,570.
Town officials have said the approved special appropriations won’t increase taxes because they have already been factored into the overall town spending plan.