Lisa Redmond| The Millbury-Sutton Chronicle

Owner says complaintsmiscommunication

MILLBURY Two months after the town issued a cease-and-desist order against The Care Factory, closing the cannabis-focused art studio and event venue at 175 West Main St., one selectman said she has received numerous complaints that the venue is planning a ladies' pole dancing contest.

Selectman Mary Krumsiek received numerous complaints about the business including an email, which she forwarded to the police chief, that advertises for staff for aladies' pole dancingcontest.

At the Dec. 8 meeting, selectman chairman Mary Krumsiek reported she has received numerous complaints about the business including an email, which she forwarded to the police chief, that advertises for staff for the contest.

But Joe Dion, owner and operator of The Care Factory, told the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle, this is a case of miscommunication.

The pole dancing is nothing risqu, he said. Rather, its a ladies-only event for women who want to have fun and get exercise, Dion said. Pole dancing or pole fitness is an intensive body workout.

Dion opened The Care Factory about a year ago after sinking about $100,000 into his portion of the former mill building. He plans on buying the property. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, his venue is currently closed to the public, he said.

But he is making plans, such as lining up events and hiring staff, so that when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, he can open his 5,000-square-foot space to artists and events of all kinds.

Dion, a cannabis consultant to dispensaries, said he wants to work with the town to turn his venue into something no one has seen before, a flexible studio for art and music, an art gallery and event space.

We strive to complement the creative renaissance in local and global cannabis, hip hop, fashion and tech communities, according to the business' website http://www.carefactoryma.com.

The Care Factory is about creative expression, he said.

Its not a nightclub, he said.

Dion admits there was an incident in October when a guest, who had too much of the free alcohol, hit another guest with a bottle.

The Millbury police log notes that Oct. 16 around 9p.m. the police were called to The Care Factory for a disturbance. Hours later about 2:30a.m. Oct. 17police, again, responded to the location for a disturbance for a report of an assault and battery.

It was bad publicity, sure, but it was one small thing, Dion said.

At the boards Oct. 27 meeting, Acting Town Manager Sean Kelley told the selectmen the event at The Care Factory was terminated by the police and the building inspector, who issued a cease-and-desist order due to issues related to the sprinkler system in the converted former mill building.

Kelley took a hard line stating, We were not going to allow a Station nightclub incident in Millbury, referring to the 2003 fire started by pyrotechnics set off inside the Station nightclub in Rhode Island that left 100 people dead and 230 people injured. Fire officials concluded that a sprinkler system in the club would have saved many lives.

But, Kelley acknowledged that after meeting with all the parties and town officials it appeared there was a miscommunication between the landlord, the tenant and the event organizer.

Dion said his attorney is working with town officials to resolve any issues pertaining to the certificate of occupancy and the sprinkler system. He wants to work with the town and be a good neighbor.

What people dont see are his quiet acts of altruism such as spending $3,000 to provide Thanksgiving to the homeless in the area or raising $13,000 last Christmas to make sure 10 families could celebrate the holiday.

At the Dec. 8 board meeting, new Town Manager Sean Hendricks said he was told that when there are confirmed violations (at The Care Factory), weve gone and rattled their cage a little bit and it goes quiet for a couple of weeks and then they sort of rear their heads, again.

Hendricks said he will look into this latest issue and if there are violations, I think we are down to the third strike. We are at the point where (the town) has given them as many opportunities as we can to be compliant.

The town manager said he will be taking more decisive action in the near future, using law enforcement, inspections and from an administrative standpoint.

See the original post here:
Town manager says The Care Factory facing its third strike' - Millbury-Sutton Chronicle

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