Twinsburg Council supports mask wearing, social distancing

Spending cut due to the coronavirus

James Zammikiel of the city's Community Emergency Response Team, introduces Chogan to Abigail Moody, 2, last October. Chogan is being retired from the Community Emergency Response Team after seven years of service.

TWINSBURG – City Council last week urged all residents to comply with the state of Ohio’s requirements that face coverings be worn by any person in a public place in Summit County and that social distancing be practiced to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Council’s vote on the resolution July 14 was 5-2, with Bill Furey and Jo-Ann McFearin voting “no.” The opponents said they didn’t think the resolution was necessary because state and county mandates already spell out guidelines for wearing face masks and social distancing.

The resolution states, “The medical professionals confirm that such practices best promote health, safety and welfare of the public by reducing the spread of COVID-19, while enabling the continuation of essential services, businesses and travel necessary to protect public health and safety, and for the continuity of social and commercial life during the state of emergency.”

The resolution urges businesses to take action to enforce and follow the state’s requirement that masks be worn by persons patronizing businesses, and that the city will support businesses which enforce the mask and social distancing policy.

That support includes removing patrons who refuse to comply with wearing a mask after being advised to do so and/or issuing charges for trespassing or disorderly conduct if such refusal persists.

“This serves to let residents and businesses know that we’re taking this situation seriously,” said Mayor Ted Yates. “It reinforces the state and county guidelines at the local level.”

Budgetary items

Meanwhile, in response to lower-than-expected revenue as a result of coronavirus, Council approved legislation that will reduce 2020 general fund appropriations by $702,000, which mostly reflects virus-related staff reductions.

“With these reductions, we have about the same amount of employees we had in 2010, and our operations are still going strong,” Furey said.

Another approved appropriations amendment reflects the expected receipt of $540,000 in coronavirus relief funds as part of the CARES Act. Finance Director Sarah Buccigross said about $268,000 has been received so far.

Buccigross also reported the 2021 budget process has commenced, and she said city income tax revenue is down about $1.8 million so far this year.

The 2021 tax budget, a routine annual procedure required by the Ohio Revised Code, was approved. Once sent to the Summit County fiscal office, rates are set for funds that have property taxes as a source of revenue.

For 2021, the city is applying for taxes to be received in the following funds: fire and police pensions, 1 mill each generating $650,824 for each fund; park debt, 1.68 mill generating $1.09 million; and capital improvements, 1 mill generating $650,824.

Scaffide, Stauffer and Walker voted against the tax budget because it included amounts to be received from Council-approved property tax hike revenue. The three opposed legislation which will raise the city’s charter/inside millage by 4.9 mills. That measure was approved by council on Tuesday by a 4-3 vote.

Other business

Council also confirmed the planning commission’s determination that “pet grooming” is a similar use to barber shops and beauty salons permitted in C-1, C-2, C-3 and C-5 business zoning districts, and appointed Michael Jamison as a member of the board of zoning appeals through March 31, 2022.

The pet grooming OK followed a request from Compassion Animal Services that it be granted a similar use determination for its pet grooming, training and retail products business in the plaza at 10735 Ravenna Road. The owners are Adam Proctor and Tracy Goforth.

A certificate of appreciation was presented to canine Chogan, who is being retired after seven years of service to CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). A donation of $100 was given to CERT by Twinsburg firefighters.-

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