April 2, 2014 Updated: April 2, 2014 at 8:33 am
Palmer Lake residents, in a record turnout, voted against the sale of recreational marijuana within the city limits by a 538 to 481 margin Tuesday.
Manitou Springs remains the only town in El Paso County that has approved recreational marijuana shops after its City Council voted 6-1 on Jan. 21.
The polls in Palmer Lake closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday, but the votes weren't completely tallied until after midnight as judges had to count nearly 1,000 by hand. Results were released shortly after 6 a.m. Wednesday.
Nikki McDonald was reelected as mayor with 461 votes.
The closest recreational pot sellers to El Paso County are in Denver and Pueblo County, after they approved recreational sales Jan. 1.
Manitou's planning commission will review the first license application April 9. If passed, it would then go before City Council in early May, a spokesman for the town's planning department said.
Monument and Green Mountain Falls also held elections for mayor and town trustees Tuesday.
Monument voted in Rafael Dominguez as its new mayor. Dominguez, who makes the move from councilman to the town's top executive, beat Mary Russelavage by a vote of 597 to 209. Kelly Elliott garnered the most votes (555) for one of three trustee seats.
Jeffrey Kaiser and Stanley Gingrich also earned seats, with 550 and 542 votes, respectively.
Mayor Lorrie Worthey earned a second term in Green Mountain Falls, upending Jane Newberry by a vote of 143 to 118. David Cook (175 votes), Christopher Quinn (165) and Michael Butts (157) won the three open trustee seats in the town of about 700 in western El Paso County.
Voters in other Colorado cities, including Denver, approved the sale of recreational marijuana in April 2013 and pot stores opened for business in many places across the state Jan. 1. The closest recreational pot sellers to El Paso County are in Denver and Pueblo County.
In 2012, Colorado voters approved Amendment 64, which made possession of up to an ounce of marijuana or six pot plants legal. It also allowed municipalities to opt in or out of selling recreational marijuana.
Late Tuesday, there was no indication of how Palmer Lake's vote would turn out.
Two hours before the polls closed, Dino Salvatori, owner of the Palmer Lake Wellness medical marijuana dispensary, said he had no idea which way the vote would go.
"I'm exactly on the fence," he said.
Salvatori said he wouldn't have been surprised if it's settled with "single-digit votes." If the recreational marijuana measure would have passed, he planned to pursue a recreational license. Salvatori, who has owned his dispensary on the south edge of town since 2012, said he estimates Palmer Lake would take in about $1,000 a day in tax revenues from recreational marijuana sales. He said "that's a very conservative number."
"The town definitely needs some money," Salvatori said.