Herald Staff Writer
Barberton City Council could be one of the first in the county to pass legislation to make parks smoke free.
The members heard the first reading of an ordinance that would make 16 parks smoke free. They will add this to section 1068.06 of the codified ordinances which already include offenses like drinking alcohol, setting off fireworks and more with fines of up to $500. In public comments, Cory Kendrick, director of population health at Summit County Public Health thanked council for being one of the first in the county to ban smoking in parks with an ordinance. He said smoking is one of the most preventable public health issues, killing more people than AIDS, car crashes, drugs, murders and suicides combined. Kendrick said a few years ago, a survey of Barberton High School students revealed that 27 percent smoke and 36 percent vape.
They also approved of a resolution to declare April Fair Housing Month. They will enter into a contract with Kenmore Construction for over $230,000 worth of electrical and SCADA system upgrades, which allows for equipment to equipment communication, work at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Council will allow the city to purchase about 3.5 acres at 888 Wooster Road West from the Barberton Community Development Corporation for $100,000. In the last meeting April 2, Planning Director Joe Stefan said a few years ago, they used grants from Clean Ohio and Ohio EPA to remove harmful substances, about 6 tons, from the property. The city plans to continue testing and removing containments to develop the property. He said there are companies interested.
One citizen, Paul Risley, addressed council and urged they read the ordinance about that land purchase three times. He said he is concerned he and other citizens don’t have time to state their opinions or ask questions when agendas are posted at the end of the week prior and passed days later.
During voting on that land purchase, Councilwoman Shannon Conrad Wokojance urged council to agree to at least two readings because of Risley’s request. At-Large Councilwoman Carla Debevec and also said no to voting on the legislation with emergency wording that night which would go into effect immediately. The rest of council voted yes so it passed.
In an upcoming meeting, they will thank Monte Harris of the police department for 25 years of service with legislation.
Chipotle Mexican Grill, being built in the Giant Eagle plaza, and M and M’s Taphouse requested liquor licenses.
Mayor William Judge reminded council that Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, April 28. They went into executive session to discuss the appointment of a public official.