DANVILLE – Compliance checks on tobacco retailers by the Danville Police Department have been occurring for many years through the Illinois Department of Human Services "Kids Can't Buy 'Em Here" Tobacco Enforcement Program.
One of the agreements on Tuesday’s Danville City Council meeting agenda is an intergovernmental agreement between the IDHS and city for Fiscal Year 2020 for the program. Council members will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Robert E. Jones Municipal Building, 17 W. Main St.
Interim Public Safety Director Chris Yates said the grant is for $4,950 to hire back officers and work with underage volunteers to go to different locations. The grant would run through June 30, 2020, he said.
The program is a little different now that Illinois raised the minimum legal sales age to 21 for tobacco products Yates said about the volunteers they will work with. The bill called “Tobacco 21” went into effect July 1. The age had been 18.
According to The Associated Press, Illinois joined California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon, Hawaii, Maine and Washington, D.C., in banning sales to those under 21. Included in the ban are cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and nicotine-based products such as e-cigarettes and vaping materials.
The legislation also does away with penalties for underage possession. Businesses, however, will still face fines and other sanctions for selling to underage customers.
In other business Tuesday, city council members will consider:
• Authorizing a construction agreement with CSX Transportation, Inc. for proposed sidewalk construction at Griffin Street at the railroad crossing that will see gates installed south of Fairchild Street near the Boys & Girls Club.
• Approving Danville Mass Transit’s Title VI Program submission for the Federal Transit Association.
• Approving a $293,189 contract with National Power Rodding Corp. to help televise storm and sanitary sewers. Results from the work will be used to continue asset management for the city’s sewer system.
Danville Public Works Director Carl Carpenter said the work will address approximately 33,155 lineal feet of the city’s underground sewer system.
Ward 3 Alderwoman Sherry Pickering earlier this week asked why the work can’t be done by city staff.
Carpenter replied that it’s “not possible” due size of the project. He said the cost is higher than in the past partly due to union wages being up $2 an hour and companies being busy and raised their prices.
Ward 2 Alderman Rick Strebing said it's important for the city to know where more problem areas exist. Ward 5 Alderman Mike Puhr agreed, saying part of this came about with the sewer collapse under Garfield Elementary School.
City officials said they want to get everything televised within the next couple years.
“It’s cheaper to line than replace,” Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. said.
Strebing also said, to him this is simpler than the city spending close to $1 million to buy a televising truck outfit and doing it themselves.
City officials have been notified CSX Transportation will make crossing repairs at Williams Street starting at 7a.m. Tuesday. It is anticipated the work will take one day to complete. The work will require closure of roads and detours. The work is weather dependent, so the road may be closed until Wednesday.
For information, contact CSX Transportation at 442-0126.