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Port Moody considers cannabis wellness, train whistles and chafer beetles

A medicinal marijuana dispensary is being proposed for St. Johns Street in Port Moody. In a presentation to city council Tuesday, CannaLifeMD representatives said they've selected a site at 3131 St. Johns St.

A medicinal marijuana dispensary is being proposed for St. Johns Street in Port Moody.

In a presentation to city council Tuesday, CannaLifeMD representatives said they've selected a site at 3131 St. Johns St., the former Prudential Sterling Realty office, to open a wellness centre that will carry cannabis products. Those include cannabis-infused honey, oils and tinctures, as well as some health-food products.

The store would operate as a private, members-only centre catering to those 45 years and older, and would include high-security measures, education and support for members.

Council members asked CannaLife for more details about the process potential members and patients would go through to obtain cannabis products, and suggested more clarity is needed on how the Port Moody Police would respond to such an operation.

The subject of marijuana came up again later in the meeting, when council adopted a zoning bylaw amendment that makes medicinal marijuana production a prohibited land use. Councillors Rick Glumac and Robert Vagramov voted against the amendment.

Other PoMo news:

TRAIN NOISE

A train crossing can be noisy, and people living near the one in Port Moody are hoping it can be a little less so.

In a report to council, Mayor Mike Clay noted late-night activity on the Ioco spur has increased recently and instead of heading out to Imperial Oil at about 4 p.m. and returning at 9 p.m., the CP Rail train has been going out at 9 p.m. and returning at 3 a.m.

Residents living nearby have questioned the need for the train whistle at that hour but, in a letter from CP, even upgrading the crossing to a a fully controlled one, with lights, gates and bells, might not solve the issue because the curve in the track across Murray Street reduces sight lines and, therefore, requires a whistle.

The change in CP's schedule is mainly due to delays caused by congestion at its Port Coquitlam yard as well as work replacing tracks and other maintenance that has also caused service delays for West Coast Express trains.

Council approved a motion to have the city work with Transport Canada to determine if the Ioco spur is a candidate for whistle cessation.

FOX SIGNS

Permanent Terry Fox Training Route signs will be installed in Port Moody to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope.

The commemorative signs, some of which will include trivia about the Hometown Hero, will go on the route that Fox used to prepare for his 1980 Marathon of Hope. City staff are working with the Terry Fox Foundation to ensure the signs are installed before the Training Run event on April 4, which will take participants on Fox's 16-km route from Maple Creek middle school in Port Coquitlam to the Ioco Townsite and back.

Port Moody Police and volunteers will be on hand to monitor the event and to direct runners along the route. PoMo's portion will start as runners cross the Coquitlam border heading west on Guildford Way, to Ungless Way and west on Ioco Road. The return trip will take in part of the Inlet Trail.

The cost to PoMo taxpayers for providing PMPD officers, traffic control and installation of the signs is approximately $2,500. The Fox foundation is covering the cost of the signs.

THE BEETLES

Port Moody will attack the chafer beetle problem through education, co-operation and subsidization.

Crows and raccoons pecking and digging for chafer beetle larvae have torn up both private and public property over the last several months. It's estimated that 60 acres of the latter have been damaged, mainly on less-maintained areas such as boulevards and grass next to playing fields.

"If left unchecked, the infestation may expand to the field areas," the staff report notes.

Staff recommended dealing with the beetle on city property through enhanced lawn maintenance, including nematode application, and conversion to grass alternatives.

The resolution approved at Tuesday's meeting calls for an enhanced education program costing up to $5,000, include information on the city's website, at the annual Port Moody Naturally seminar, a brochure distributed at city facilities, outreach activities and targeted messaging in collaboration with the cities of Coquitlam and PoCo.

Council also approved a recommendation from the Environmental Protection Committee to develop a coupon program that would give residents 50% off the purchase of nematodes. The overall cost to the city would be capped at $5,000 per year for a two-year trial period.

Staff recommended PoMo follow the approach in New Westminster, where residents purchased nematodes at select retailers rather than the city grappling with the logistics of supplying the tiny worms themselves.

spayne@tricitynews.com

@spayneTC