Quincy's commissioners met on Tuesday, February 28th to deal with their planned moratorium on medical cannabis (marijuana) dispensaries.
Ordinance #1088-2017 was approved unanimously on second reading and will expire on September 1st, 2017. City attorney Scott Shirley said the city will wait for the state legislature to complete its process and then find out what the state decides to do. The city will have to re-zone to accommodate the dispensaries as commercial entities eventually, he said.
Joe Munroe, Executive Director of the Quincy Main Street program, updated the city board about Main Street activities and thanked commissioners for their stalwart support.
"Your support is absolutely vital. I came back (from Washington, D.C.) in 2012 after working as a commercial industrial designer. My 37-year career showed that people are impacted by their surroundings. It's our front yard. When I came back I was absolutely shocked at the way Quincy looked. There was a lot of apathy, a mental attitude. If people see a dirty downtown they'll turn away. We were suffering from too much bureaucracy. The commission changed that. Quincy, Florida needs to continue investing in ourselves," said Munroe.
The Main Street program is a nationally- and state-accredited program giving the ability to network with officials on all levels and develop an economic vitality that is vital for survival, he said.
"What the community is about to see is the renovation of the courthouse to its 1913 appearance through a $500,000 grant, plus a $50,000 small grant for smaller projects," said Munroe.
A downtown parking lot and a fresh market for local farmers is in the works as well as identifying the city as an arts and cultural destination for the past 15 years. Currently, the Gadsden Arts Center and Museum has an art exhibit called 'Found,' based on the Highwaymen self-taught African American artists' works, he said. The Arts Center is undergoing a $600,000 renovation through public investments.
The Main Street program bought almost $20,000 worth of benches for the sidewalks at the courthouse and another $5,000 for street banners. In economic development, Munroe said a developer-owner is investing in creating 12 apartments in the downtown area in a restored building on Quincy's courthouse square.
Some 28,000 people a year attend the Gadsden Arts Center & Museum and the Quincy Music Theatre, said Munroe. "I want the city to clean up our house and put our best foot forward. The city is obviously putting money back into itself. Investors want a clean town," he said.
Commissioner Daniel McMillan thanked Munroe for his hard work. "We're lucky to have someone with your talent, passion and that of all the committee members," he said.
Commissioner Keith Dowdell agreed, and Commissioner Andy Gay said Munroe is appreciated for what he and stakeholders, plus Main Street have brought to Quincy. "We need to do a better job marketing Quincy," said Gay.
Mayor Derrick Elias said Munroe is doing a wonderful job. “I see progress," said Elias.