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Hopedale - Local Town Pages

Marijuana impact fees will become free cash Agreements adjusted to reduce and cap fee

By Theresa Knapp
The Select Board has adjusted the language in the Host Community Agreements it has with local marijuana businesses. 
The impact fees are paid quarterly. Town officials originally thought the fees would be set aside in a separate account to be used only for impacts to the town that were caused by the marijuana establishments. 
At its meeting on April 11, the board heard from Town Counsel Brian Riley of KP Law who said the money is actually treated like any other receivable. It goes into the town’s general fund, is certified by the Department of Revenue, and is then certified as free cash and available for the town to spend. 
The town does not need to set up a separate account for this money. In fact, if the town did set it aside in a specific stabilization fund, it would require a simple majority vote at town meeting to create the account and a two-thirds vote at town meeting to withdraw from the account. 
After a lengthy discussion, the board decided not to set up a separate account, and decided only to adjust the HCA language as it relates to reducing the impact fee from 3 percent to 1.5 percent with a $35,000 cap.