An outdoor drinking area may be coming to Garrettsville

Garrettsville Village Council is considering establishing a designated outdoor refreshment area (DORA) in the downtown area. DORAs are typically established to allow people to legally consume alcohol in specific parts of a municipality.

Council set a public hearing for 4 p.m. May 12, and a special council meeting to enact the legislation is scheduled for May 19.

Council noted that the DORA concept has worked well in Kent and clarified that appropriate signage and 11 outdoor trash receptacles would be required. Each business would have to provide clear cups embossed with DORA and the name of the business. Also, bartenders could attend an online training to recognize when potential customers have overindulged.

Waste management

A public hearing will be scheduled to address legislation allowing the village to go after residents who fail to maintain their properties. The proposed legislation would also target residents leaving multiple items out on the curb. Council hopes to reduce the time frame for dealing with the trash piles from six weeks to two.

Often the curb piles originate with renters who move on, sometimes due to eviction or other short notice, council members said.

During earlier discussion about the issue, Council President Tom Hardesty said property owners’ taxes may be assessed if the items remain an eyesore.

Recycling, or the lack of it, remains a concern in Garrettsville. The village has ended its central drop off contract with the Portage County Solid Waste Management District. Mayor Rick Patrick asked council if some private haulers have roll-out bins. The small recycling bins some haulers provide are not nearly big enough, he said. Council will check prices for individual customers and whole-village pickup, though village leaders do not want to require all residents to contract with a single hauler not of their choosing.

Curbside branch pickup and shredding began earlier this month and will continue through to November.

Branches must be out no later than 7 a.m. on Monday or Tuesday of the pick-up week in order to guarantee collection that month. The street department generally picks up the first week of the month, April through November.

The council outlined requirements for pickup:

  • Branches should be placed on the tree lawn (grassy area within 10 feet of the pavement edge) in neatly stacked piles with the cut end toward the street. 
  • If there is a ditch along the pavement edge, branches should be placed on the street side, not in the ditch.
  • Piles should be free of stumps, leaves, grass clippings, other yard waste, briars, vines and anything with thorns.
  • Branches may not be greater than four inches in diameter.
  • Bagged leaves and flower bed debris will be picked up during the spring and summer months. No special bag is needed as long as it holds the debris.
  • The street department will only pick up branches and bagged items that conform to these guidelines.

Garrettsville’s annual spring cleanup is scheduled for the week following the Community Garage Sale, which is set for June 25-27. That puts the spring cleanup at July 1, which is late, so council is hoping their trash hauler can add another cleanup for May 6.

More from the council meeting

  • Residents on High Street, Park Avenue, and Wolff and Garfield drives will notice their roads getting a makeover this summer as council identified its summer paving program. The village’s idea is to target the more highly traveled roads first and work their way down, council agreed.
  • Police Sgt. Keith Whan received permission to hire a part-time administrative assistant. Council will approve retroactively.
  • The Nelson Garrettsville Community Cupboard is open to the public four days each month. It is intended to serve individuals who live in the James. A. Garfield schools community.
  • The community cupboard launched its new fundraising campaign April 3, seeking to acquire 100 recurring donations of at least $5 a month by May 1. Once the goal is met, the NGCC plans to buy a cargo van, which will enable them to take their services on the road, delivering food to hundreds of clients in the community.
  • To become a “0-100” donor, visit the Nelson Garrettsville Community Cupboard website at Type in your preferred donation and then check the box to make it a recurring donation. Donors will be celebrated on the cupboard’s social media channels, and will receive a 0-100 Donor sticker to display on their vehicles. The organization’s board of directors identified going mobile as a need when it became clear that a growing number of its clients have difficulty getting to the cupboard’s location at the Garrettsville YMCA.
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Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.