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Newton Falls council misses last call

NEWTON FALLS — Despite lengthy discussions at recent meetings on forming a designated outdoor refreshment area in downtown, village council missed the deadline to submit the application to the state.

Council was informed Wednesday the village needed to submit the application by late December. Attorney Kristofer Immel, filling in for interim Law Director Alfred Schrader, said he discovered the lapse after reviewing the process to create a DORA.

Immel recommended council begin the application process again if it wants to pursue the idea.

The designation allows for alcohol consumption in a specific area, where people can take their drinks into participating businesses.

Immel said the process began in the fall with a 60-day period required with legal notice, which after that was late December.

“If you wish to still pursue the DORA, you will need to start the application process over again. There are statutory guidelines and deadlines that need to be met and when council action needs to be taken by,” Immel said.

Several residents spoke against the DORA idea.

Among them was John Richards, who said some businesses downtown were not approached about the idea.

The proposal designated the area along West Broad Street from Domino’s Pizza to Pizza Hut.

Resident Catie Karl said she was concerned about the proposed 4.8-acre zone. She questioned who would pay for the cleanup, signage, police protection and trash removal after an evening event. She said she wants to keep the area away from Veterans Park.

Resident Dave Hanson said the designation is “a waste of time” with other efforts needing to be made to attract business and people to the village.

Hanson and other residents said some are concerned by liability and negligence with a DORA.

“There has been far too much time wasted on this,” he said.


In other business, the village’s charter review committee had its initial meeting and will review the charter during the next four months.

Committee member and resident Richard Kerlin said the next meeting is 6 p.m. Monday, with discussion on what parts of the charter need to be replaced. The original charter was established in the 1960s.

Julie Lemon, who serves on the committee, said public information meetings will be held in the future.

Resident Adam Zimmermann said Schrader met this week with the committee and made 20 recommendations on sections that may need to be changed or updated.

Zimmermann said the original committee had seven members, but Werner Lange resigned. He questioned if another person needs to be appointed if there is a tie vote.

Commission members are Sandra Armbruster Brockway, Tracy Hurst, Richard Kerlin, Bruce Moore, Lemon and Richards.

Mayor Ken Kline said the charter is being looked at to make needed improvements and to clarify sections where there has been prior confusion and problems with interpretation.

Officials said the commission will make recommendations to council.

Schrader recommended the commission:

• Review salaries of village council members, who make $3,600 per year;

• Remove power from boards to reprimand or remove board members and giving that power to council members;

• Changing the charter review from five years to every three years.

Any recommended changes will be voted on by the residents in an election.

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