By CARRIE ONDER

Correspondent

PAULDING – Council members discussed carrying of concealed weapons in public parks and recreational areas along with fines associated with sidewalk snow removal during the regular session of the Paulding Village Council meeting on Monday, Feb. 4.

Resolution No. 1340-19 to allow CCW (carrying of concealed weapons) permit holders to concealed carry on certain village properties was introduced to council members during the first reading of legislation and sparked discussion among council members.

This resolution would allow the Village of Paulding to authorize the carrying of concealed weapons on village grounds under Ohio Revised Code 2923.126(B)(7) with the following exceptions, where CCW is not permitted:

• Buildings where court is conducted when court is in session or is scheduled. This includes Mayor’s Court, currently located at 116 S. Main St.

• Recreation buildings, shelters and restrooms including the Paulding Water Park/Municipal Pool.

• Police department buildings/facilities.

“What if they [citizens] don’t abide by the resolution?” asked Mayor Greg Reinhart.

Village solicitor Harvey Hyman explained that if anyone exceeded the scope of this resolution, they would face criminal charges.

“So they would still be arrested if they break this [resolution]?” asked Reinhart. “Yes,” replied Hyman.

Councilman David Burtch stated he could understand all of restrictions; however, he didn’t understand the recreational buildings.

Hyman explained that all the restrictions are stated under the Ohio Revised Code and a village is not allowed to give more authority than stated. However, he wanted the resolution to explicitly state the restrictions and the village is not allowed to grant permission for CCW in recreational buildings, shelters, restrooms, including the pool and water park.

“Is that building or buildings and grounds for recreation?” asked Councilman Randy Daeger.

Hyman explained that you can carry in the parks but you cannot carry in the building or shelters even if you are going to the restroom.

Daeger asked if it was possible to change the resolution to include recreational grounds in addition to buildings and was informed by Hyman that the council could place additional restrictions.

“I would like to see recreational grounds. You can’t carry firearms out to the ball field, the reservoir ball fields and LaFountain Park. I don’t want any firearms out there,” said Daeger.

Councilman Dan Workman said he thought the restrictions Daeger was suggesting made sense due to the fact that you can’t take them into the restroom or the shelters, so why have them on the recreational grounds.

Councilman David Burtch stated that he would prefer to keep the resolution as is and not add any further restrictions.

“Sit in the stands and watch your kid play ball with a gun at your side,” said Workman.

“You can still carry a gun out there because you can open carry,” said Mayor Reinhart. “If you can open carry, you might as well be able to conceal carry.”

After some more discussion among council regarding the open carry law, it was decided that Hyman would research if open carry is permitted in the locations specified before making any changes to the resolution.

Turning to other matters, village administrator Dale Goebel reported the OWDA loan for Phase III was approved as of Jan. 31 and the first pre-construction meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Feb. 14 in the council chambers.

Goebel informed council the Ohio Basic Code 94.11 states anyone who has a sidewalk is responsible for the removal of snow, within a reasonable amount of time, usually 12 to 24 hours after the snowfall has stopped. Ohio Basic Code 10.99 states that fines could be as much as $500 per time.

“The property owner is liable for any injury incurred, not the village,” said Goebel.

Goebel said the fine could be up to $500 per time, meaning that each time it snows, if sidewalks are not cleared each incident, the resident could be fined up to $500, which would be written into Mayor’s Court.

Karen Sunday, resident of Emerald Acres, was present at the meeting to inquire abut updates on the Emerald Acres drainage project.

Sunday informed council members that with the recent snow melt, there was an increase of standing water along the intersection of Helen and Robert streets as well as many houses on Rita Street.

“Right now there is water everywhere, snow is melting and frost is still in the ground and I was out there twice today,” replied Goebel.

“Will the water ever completely go away when this project is done? If we have a big snow melt like this or a downpour will there be water laying?” asked Daeger.

Goebel informed them there will be water and it takes time to go away. He went on to explain that right now, the frost in the ground prevents water from getting to the tiles to drain. He said anytime there is a large amount of snow that melts in a short period of time, there will be water that sits for a short period of time.

Goebel reassured Sunday the project is set to begin in the spring and the completion of Rita Street is planned for this year.

Councilman Greg White requested approval to replace the bed in the large dump truck along with a new hoist for $20,000. This request was approved.

White reported the street committee discussed the new Dura Patcher at state pricing of $66,708. White said the street committee plans to further discuss this along with viewing a demonstration.

In addition, the street committee also discussed the old Ford building owner on South Williams Street would like to add a drive opening from the street to lot on the north side of the building. This will need to be presented to the planning commission.

Dix and Wayne street intersections will be repaired after Phase III project is completed. White said there is damage to the intersection due to wide turns from trucks.

White also reported that the committee was informed of “Welcome to Paulding” signs to be placed on north and south U.S. 127 at village limits. The location of these signs will be determined at a later date.

Councilman Tim Boss updated council members on the recreation committee meeting held Jan. 28. Boss said the committee discussed the repairs needed at the pool in order to have the pool fully functional for opening day. The committee is in the process of receiving quotes for the pool repairs and had no recommendations at this time.

Boss also reported the safety committee met to discuss a new police cruiser and needs to hold another meeting for further discussion. The cost of a cruiser has been budgeted for this year.

Reinhart presented council the Mayor’s Court monthly statement for the month of January, totaling $540.

The Paulding Police report for the month of January stated that the police department completed 197 security checks, five traffic accidents, one traffic citation written into Mayor’s Court, 526 security checks completed, one referral to utilities for street lights and signs and one junk ordinance citation issued.

EMS report for January reflected 61 total calls and 59 total patients.

Goebel presented four water and sewer assessments to council.

Legislation passed under a declared emergency:

• Ordinance No. 1558-19 approving, adopting and enacting American Legal Publishing’s Ohio Basic Code, 2019 Edition, as the code of ordinances for the municipality of Paulding.