The Boonville City Council on Monday approved a site plan for a proposed building that could house a medical marijiuana growing and manufacturing facility.

The council voted 8-0 to approve the site plan for a 28,500-square-foot greenhouse and office building that Columbia-registered MOCO Team plans to build on an undeveloped piece of land in the industrial park off Ashley Road. The company has not yet received the state permits it needs to do that.

The company has applied for growing and manufacturing licenses for a facility on a currently undeveloped parcel on Nor-Cat Way, behind the Pilot truck stop on Ashley Road. The property is owned by a company registered to Mel Zelenak, president of Maly Commercial Realty in Columbia.

The Planning and Zoning Commission previously voted to approve the site plan. The council and commission both approved zoning rules earlier this year that would treat medical marijuana growing and manufacturing facilities like other industrial businesses, which can be located in C-2 zones like the industrial park.

Jay Gephart, the civil engineer working on the site plan for MOCO, told the council that the planning commission asked them to move a proposed trash enclosure inside the fence around the site, which they did.

MOCO is one of six companies that filed a total of 15 applications seeking licenses for medical marijuana facilities in Cooper County during the state’s application window in August, and one of two applications that involved constructing completely new buildings.

The Department of Health and Senior Services has 150 days to issue or deny a permit after it receives an application, so it doesn’t have to rule until late December or early January, according to its website. Department spokeswoman Lisa Cox said the department hasn’t issued any licenses yet. It doesn’t have a firm timeline, but expects to start issuing licenses in December, beginning with testing facilities, Cox stated in an email.

Seeking assistant public works director

City Administrator Kate Fjell told the council that the city seeks to hire an assistant Public Works director to share some of the load of Director M.L. Cauthon.

The position will replace Fjell’s previous position as assistant to the city administrator, but will be focused on public works, she said in an interview. The city wants someone who can manage internal construction projects, something Fjell did a lot of in her previous role, she said.

“As we’ve taken on more construction projects internally, we wanted someone watching over the project and making sure we’re meeting our goals in terms of time and cost,” Fjell said.

Cauthon has his hands full, especially dealing with regulatory agencies on the state and federal level, Fjell said. The job of the assistant director will likely change over time, but for now the city is looking to fill the role Fjell played before her promotion.