LAKEMORE  Mayor Rick Justice announced at the April 15 Lakemore Council meeting that the county passed the Tobacco 21 initiative.

Justice said that means that the county will be enforcing it in Springfield Township. Also, to the northeast Akron has passed it, and to the southwest Green has passed it.

The ordinance prohibits the sale of cigarettes, other tobacco products and tobacco paraphernalia to those under the age of 21. According to the county’s ordinance, tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. resulting in 480,000 deaths a year, or one in five deaths.

The document reads, “Tobacco use contributes to many of Ohio and the Village of Lakemore’s greatest health challenges, including cardiovascular disease, cancer and infant mortality.” According to 2014 data, in Summit County, pregnant women under the age of 21 smoke at a rate that is 70 percent higher than their older counterparts and 23.7 percent of pregnant women in Summit County age 18 to 21 smoked while pregnant. Research shows that raising the age for tobacco sales could result in 249,000 fewer premature deaths and 286,000 fewer pre-term births. Another important statistic sited by the document is that studies show that young people who are addicted to nicotine are seven times more likely to suffer from a drug use disorder. Individuals who have never used tobacco by age 21 are unlikely to ever start smoking.

The ordinance is currently tabled for further discussion. “We are considering it as well and hopefully we will do that,” Justice said. “I think it is a good thing.”

Other business:

- Justice said he and Fiscal Officer Tracy Fast have met with engineers for the Sanitarium Road project and the Ohio Department of Transportation to make sure everything is moving along the right way. Bid advertisements will go out the first of May and by mid-May the village should have a contractor with the hopes of beginning the project early summer.

- A resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into a contract with Love Insurance and the Ohio Plan for liability and property insurance to be effective through April 23, 2020, was approved.

- A resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into a contract with Elton Miller for conditional usage of the lake front boat house and park areas was approved.

- A resolution dedicating the Mini Park at Main Street and Park Drive to the Lakemore Lions club for the purposes of beautification and maintenance.

- A resolution was approved supporting the mayors discharge of Jason Savill from the village Department of Public Services effective immediately.

- Authorization for the mayor to accept the proposal from AT&T for Firstnet Services and Products for mobile communications was approved.

- A resolution to authorize the mayor on behalf of the village to review bids and to execute contracts as required for Sanitarium Road was approved.

- Emily Ruble and Shawn Barauskas were approved as commissioned unpaid reserve police officers with the Lakemore Department. Both were sworn in during the meeting.

- Council members heard the first read of a proposal to be approved at the May 20 meeting authorizing the proposal from Game Time for purchases and installation of equipment for the Hinton Humiston Fitness Park. The cost is $49,973.93 and will be paid through grant funds.

- Appearing before council was Justin Knox, president of Lakemore Lions. He said the planters for the road dedication will be planted. 

- Heather Anderson, past president of the Lakemore Lions Club, thanked council for helping to get the park for the kids. “It is handicap accessible and this is near and dear to our hearts and it means a lot that you have spent time and hard work to get this done.