The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Bessemer council votes to purchase odor-detecting device

Members hope to reduce complaints about marijuana

 

January 7, 2020

P.J. Glisson/Daily Globe

ADDRESSING MEMBERS of the Bessemer City Council at a Monday evening meeting is Mayor Adam Zak, right, as Council Member Linda Nelson listens. Zak cast the sole opposing vote in a motion to purchase a smell-detecting device and to encourage the processing and application of a related ordinance as soon as possible. The action was taken in an attempt to control numerous resident complaints about marijuana odor.

By P.J. GLISSON

news@yourdailyglobe.com

Bessemer - With the exception of one dissenting vote from Mayor Adam Zak, members of the Bessemer City Council voted Monday evening to purchase an odor-detecting device as a means of addressing growing complaints about marijuana odor.

The motion by Mayor Pro Tempore Terry Kryshak specified the purchase of the Nasal Ranger, along with related training for designated personnel. It also included the processing of a related ordinance, to be written by City Attorney Ray O'Dea.

According to City Manager Charly Loper, the cost of the device and training will be about $3,400.

"I think this would be great," said Zak, but added that he would prefer the city attorney to explore further to what degree the equipment will help the city in relation to any potential legal action.

"It would be a shame to spend money and not have it hold up in court," said the mayor.

Kryshak disagreed, adding that complaints about marijuana odor are the "biggest" issue shared by local residents.

"And we've done nothing," said Kryshak. "Somebody's got to take a stand. This is a piece of equipment we need."

Council Member Linda Nelson agreed with Zak that there are no guarantees regarding how the equipment might help in relation to hypothetical court cases. Even so, she added, that's true of many issues.

"The city of Bessemer stinks," she said. "You can smell marijuana everywhere. We've got people who can't sit in their backyard because the smell from their neighbor is so bad."

Hence, she concluded, "I'm in total agreement with Terry."

Council Member William McDonald added, "It's time we do something," even though he said the cost of the equipment posed some concern for him.

Initially, Council Member Lou Miskovich said it wouldn't hurt to have the city attorney look into the matter further, but after hearing input from other council members, he voted to buy the equipment.

According to the city manager, city employee George Beninghaus is willing to undergo the training necessary to operate the Nasal Ranger.

Kryshak noted that it is appropriate for Beninghaus, who is the city's code enforcement officer, to undergo the training because the current odor problems represent "a blight issue," which is typically what Beninghaus addresses.

Kryshak added that at least one more person should be trained.

Council members also discussed the possibility of reducing costs by sharing equipment with the city of Ironwood. Kryshak, however, said sharing would require driving time to retrieve the equipment when needed, by which time the targeted odor could dissipate.

 
 

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