Tobacco 21 Tops Springfield City Council Agenda

The Springfield City Council will be looking at upping the age for tobacco as they head into Monday night’s City Council meeting.

The Tobacco 21 Act, which the Council amended at the last meeting, is back and at the top of the agenda. If the measure passes, all businesses in the city limits which sell tobacco will immediately raise the age for customers to 21. City staff, the health department, and all major medical providers in the city have endorsed the Act and asked Council to pass the measure. Most Council members indicated they were in favor of the measure in general, and passage of the measure is likely tonight pending any other amendments to the ordinance. (A companion measure, which was tabled at the last meeting because of the amendments to the first ordinance, will also be voted on tonight.)

Other items up for final vote include several zoning issues and a special ordinance that would have the city sharing costs with the school district for operation of a crossing guard program during the upcoming school year.

Also up for possible vote is a special ordinance allowing City Manager Jason Gage to accept a grant worth just over a quarter of a million dollars for the Missouri Works Together program. The program will provide disaster-relief employment and training services to workers who are “impacted by the opioid crisis.” The bill also declares it can be approved in just one vote; the public will be allowed to address the Council about this measure.

The council is taking a first look at a number of ordinances including one that will re-define how the city looks at “inoperable vehicles.” The bill, designed to help streamline enforcement for city staff, will remove language related to the vehicle having an inspection certificate. There will be a focus on vehicles that do not have license plates.

Other first reading bills include measures related to the city being involved with City Utilities, Greene County and the Missouri Department of Public Safety for a trunked radio system, which would streamline communications among law enforcement and emergency responders. A bill to continue “enhanced law enforcement” for Missouri State and amendments to the budget will also be open for public comment.

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