Tuesday, March 13, 2001

Day curfew, anti-vandal plans OK'd

Newport also approves Monmouth St. project

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — An anti-graffiti measure, a daytime curfew and improvements to Monmouth Street shared equal time Monday night in Newport. All were approved.

        The $4 million Monmouth Street improvement plan approved by city commission enables the city administration to move forward with a series of upgrades.

        The streetscape project, which has been discussed and considered for several years, includes all new paver-style sidewalks and curbs, removal of all overhead wires and utility poles in favor of underground electric and phone lines, and additional landscaping.

        The other two ordinances will:

        • Prohibit possession of certain graffiti materials on public or private property.

        • Create a daytime curfew for minors, giving police authority to stop people of apparent school age during school hours and, where necessary, return the students to school or detain them.

        The graffiti ordinance prohibits possession of what is termed “graffiti materials commonly used for the defacing, damaging or destroying” of property. Some of the items identified include cans of spray paint, broad-tipped permanent indelible marker pens, and glass cutting or etching tools.

        The curfew ordinance, a revision of the existing nighttime teen curfew, makes it illegal for anyone between the ages of 6 and 18 to remain in any public build ing or place, any commercial establishment or place of amusement — entertainment, or any street or highway in the city during the hours they should be in school. The exception is if they are with a parent or guardian, of if the minor is on an emergency errand directed by a parent or guardian.

        If a student is out of class for illness or suspension, they are not permitted to leave home under this ordinance.

        Several Monmouth Street business owners once again asked the commission to hold off on a final vote until it was determined that additional grant money was available to reduce the amount of assessment required for the project.

        The city has applied for grants totaling about $1 million that would be used to lower assessments to business/property owners on Monmouth Street.

        The city has about $1 million it can use for the project, with the rest coming from the property owners in the form of assessments spread over a 10-year period and based on linear feet of frontage.

        “We need to more forward with this project,” Commissioner Ken Rechtin said. “If we wait until the grants are announced, in about two months, we could miss this construction season and push the entire project back another year. At that point we can assume that construction costs will have gone up and the project will be more expensive.”


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