SAVOY — The Savoy Village Board passed three motions Wednesday night directing its staff on how to handle recreational marijuana sales once it becomes legal in Illinois next year, but no final decisions were made.
First, trustees voted 4–2 to direct staff to prepare an ordinance allowing the city to tax cannabis sales at 3 percent.
Next, village President Joan Dykstra broke a tie by voting in favor of a motion to direct staff to prepare an ordinance that would likely require special-use permits for any new dispensaries.
And finally, the board unanimously passed a motion to direct staff to prepare an ordinance to prohibit recreational marijuana sales.
After the meeting, village Manager Dick Helton said the board will vote on each of these motions at future meetings.
While the board didn’t make a final decision, some members said they wanted to make it clear that they weren’t in favor of recreational-marijuana sales.
“We wanted to make sure all our bases were covered legally and still send a message that we, at this point, are not inclined to allow the sale of recreational marijuana,” Dykstra said.
Even if the village allowed dispensaries, requiring a special-use permit would give the board a say if one wanted to open in Savoy.
“A special-use permit would have to go through the planning commission and get approval from them and the board and whatnot, so we would have definite control,” Dykstra said.
Trustee Dee Shonkwiler voted against the motion for the 3 percent sales tax, which some others voted for just so the village would have it on its books in case dispensaries opened in the future.
“I know that as a trustee, I’m perhaps supposed to separate my moral feelings from my fiscal feelings, but this is one matter that I just cannot do that,” he said.
Trustee A.J. Ruggieri, who also voted against the sales-tax motion, said despite the mix of opinions at a study session earlier this month, he felt the community was opposed to recreational-marijuana sales.
“In subsequent communications with citizens, whether it be in person or on Facebook, it is a close call, but the majority clearly, I feel, does not support it,” he said.
Helton said the ordinance to enact a 3 percent sales tax could come up for a vote as soon as next week, but staff will need time to work on the others.
“The other two issues, probably the first part of November,” he said. “It’s going to take us some time.”