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Capital City could raise minimum age for tobacco sales

Capital City could raise minimum age for tobacco sales

March 7th, 2017 by Jeff Haldiman in Local News

A bill to set the minimum age for the sale of tobacco in the city to 21 instead of 18 was introduced at Monday night's Jefferson City Council meeting.

The bill does not prohibit the possession of tobacco and related products by those 18 and older.

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Last month, the Tobacco 21 campaign was announced in Jefferson City to create a city ordinance raising the legal smoking age to purchase tobacco products.

This program was first passed in Columbia in 2014, and supporters said about a third of government bodies in the state have since put it in affect.

In Missouri, 17.1 percent of high school seniors smoke, higher the national average of 14 percent, according to data presented by the Ginnie Chadwick, former Columbia City Council member. Chadwick referenced data from the campaign website Tobacco21.org.

Chadwick told the Council since they passed the measure in Columbia, sales to underage tobacco users have decreased due to the enforcement laws that couple with alcohol sales.

She also noted e-cigarettes are also a health concern, and if the ordinance is passed in Jefferson City, e-cigarettes will be included in the list of tobacco products purchased only by people who are 21 or older.

Gaspare Calvaruso, president of Capital Region Medical Center, agreed anything the health care community can do to help create a healthier environment he fully supports.

He said CRMC has conducted two community health need assessments over the past six years, and each found smoking in the top four health risk factors for residents.

Another bill introduced at Monday's Council meeting would establish joint public works projects with Cole County.

One project is improvements to the 300-800 block of Capitol Avenue, costing $1,600,000. Officials said the work in the three-block corridor would include new and repaired sidewalks, curb and gutter work, new street lighting and pedestrian improvements at intersections.The hope is a refurbished link between the downtown area and the Missouri State Penitentiary (MSP) would spur redevelopment along the corridor.

This measure includes, along with another separate bill that was introduced, improvements in the 1200 block of Myrtle Avenue. Roundabouts are planned on Myrtle at Swifts Highway and Stadium Boulevard near Helias High School. The cost is not to exceed $500,000.

The city and county are each paying half the costs for the work on these projects with the money coming from their half-cent Capital Improvement Sales Taxes.

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In other business, a proposal was introduced from the Farmer Companies' Capital Mall JC LLC of a Final Subdivision Plat, which won the Planning and Zoning Commission's unanimous OK last month.

The Farmer proposal noted Capital Mall "was developed in the late 1970s but was never formally divided into lots and outlots." A development agreement approved by the Council in 2013 permitted the owner to divide the property into several lots based on existing tax parcel boundaries and outlined a plan that would require a formal subdivision plat at a future date, which is now.

The proposal suggests the 55.2-acre subdivision now features 11 lots. The plan excludes the Dillard's and JC Penney stores, which are owned by their respective companies. It also is platted around the Hy-Vee, the existing Capital Eight Theaters, a forest and a buffer yard adjacent to residential neighborhood. The proposal will create new lots, including near the existing Wendy's and Pizza Hut.

Among the bills pending that were approved by the Council:

A bill allowing for the vacation of a sanitary sewer easement on property at 3519 Bennett Lane, part of a larger easement given for the purpose of installing a sewer main for the Special Olympics of Missouri site north of Route B. The final sewer plan has rerouted the sewer, and a new easement has been granted. There is no need to retain this easement.

A bill vacating a sanitary sewer easement at 2821 and 2827 South Ten Mile Drive. The property is being redeveloped for a new Goodwill Store. The existing sewer is in conflict with the building being proposed for the site. A new easement was granted with the consolidation plat of these two properties, and a new sewer line has been constructed in this new easement. This vacation will allow for the construction of the proposed improvements.

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