Council discusses tobacco

OFFERING OPINIONS — Cadiz Village Council members Thomas Crawshaw, left, and Dan Ossman fill out a survey during Thursday’s meeting. Council members were asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding tobacco-free outdoor spaces, both before and after listening to a speaker on the subject. -- Dylan McKenzie

CADIZ — Members of Village Council heard from a group trying to curb tobacco usage in the area among other business Thursday night.

Caitlin Mathews and Tina Marini, community health educators with the Carroll County General Health District, spoke to members of council about their efforts to cut down on tobacco usage in Harrison County and to protect underage users from being able to purchase chewing tobacco, cigarettes and other products. Mathews said an undercover volunteer visited nine stores in the area, trying to buy tobacco products. She said that in one store, the volunteer was declined a purchase of cigarettes, but told them where they could go where they would not be asked for identification. Mathews added that in each case, no legal action was taken, and owners were just reminded of the penalties that could arise from selling to underage persons.

Mathews said through a grant, they have been working with the Harrison Hills City School District to fight against tobacco use in their schools, as studies show that middle and high school students are prone to start smoking early. The health departments in Carroll and Harrison counties have been working with students to form youth groups to fight back against tobacco to advocate against using tobacco products.

Mathews and Marini asked council members to consider creating tobacco-free outdoor spaces in parks and public areas, especially in areas near ball fields, playgrounds and other spaces where children may be outside and exposed to second-hand smoke. Mathews noted that they were not trying to punish smokers, just ensure that others aren’t exposed. Council member Thomas Crawshaw noted that to put measures into place, council members would have to work with the park board. However, all council members seemed to agree some places should stay smoke-free and agreed to talk about the issues.

“It will just entail some research and thought,” Crawshaw said. Mathews and Marini thanked the council for their time, hoping that if they put measures into place, other villages will follow the lead of the county seat.

In other business, Village Administrator Charley Bowman said that he had submitted an application to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to replace sections of water lines in the village, a project which is expected to cost $1.3 million. He also informed council members that he was looking into replacing sidewalk pavers in town, which were getting out of shape. Bowman said that as the street department has projects piling up, he might look into putting out bids for the project.

Crawshaw announced that the Cadiz-Harrison County Area Chamber of Commerce will begin to hold a farmers’ market in the square occupied by the former Mr. Fish building downtown. The markets will take place beginning Saturday and continue every other Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Sept. 2. Any interested parties who want to reserve a space to sell produce or other products can call (740) 827-3809.

The next council meeting will be at 7 p.m. July 6 in the Municipal Building, located on Court Street.