Public hearings to on salary schedule, 2012 Property tax, medical marijuana are Tuesday

The North Bend City Council will hear public testimony at its Tuesday Nov. 15 meeting, on a $15,000 increase in property taxes, the 2012 budget and salary schedule, and a moratorium on medical marijuana facilities.

The proposed property tax for North Bend in 2012 is 1,245,389, which is an increase of $15,355 from the 2011 levy. The 2012 proposed budget will be published on the city's website, and available for review at City Hall, 211 Main Ave. N.

In August, the council approved a six-month moratorium on the establishment of collective gardens, dispensaries, and production and processing facilities for medical-use marijuana. They are now considering a six-month extension of the moratorium, which requires another public hearing.

Current state law allows people with a doctor's recommendation for marijuana to grow their own, but the law is unclear regarding legal distribution channels for the drug. City Attorney Mike Kenyon recommended the moratorium to protect city staff until the state legislature clarifies its laws in the next regular session, beginning in January.

Marijuana is an illegal drug at the federal level, but Washington voters approved medicinal use of the drug in 1998.

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