4/20 Festival Pitched to City Council


A 4/20 Festival was brought up to Bellefontaine City council at their meeting last night. Chase Beair, Regional Representative for the Invisible Friend Society, pitched the idea to council, in hopes the festival could happen by this April.

In other council action, Mayor Ben Stahler told the council that his office received a letter from the Logan County Metropolitan Housing Authority indicating that plans are in the works to build a 46-unit structure featuring one, two, and three-bedroom apartments on West Chillicothe Avenue in Bellefontaine. While in the early stages, the project would be the first build of new apartments by the Housing Authority in 15 years.

Stahler also informed the council that the third firefighter to be hired as a result of the SAFER grant was sworn in. Erica VanHoose becomes just the second female firefighter in the 160-plus years that Bellefontaine has had a fire department. VanHoose and the other two hires will officially start next week.

City Safety-Service Director Wes Dodds told council that the area of West Sandusky Street that was damaged because of the recent water main break is in the process of being repaved. He hoped that the work would be completed by the end of this week. Dodds said that lane restrictions may be experienced by motorists until the project is completed.

Dodds also informed council that Ryan Shields, an employee of the Water Department has been named to replace current Water Department Supervisor Tim Newland. Newland had previously submitted notification of his retirement. Shields will train with Newland until his retirement in a few weeks.

Three ordinances were given first readings that all dealt with how the municipal chief and deputy court bailiffs are paid. Finance committee chair Deb Baker received notice from the municipal court that judges have the responsibility to set the pay scale for the bailiffs. To this point, the chief and deputy bailiff are paid under the city clerical pay scale. the ordinances would remove the bailiffs from the clerical scale. Currently, the city is responsible for 60% of the $30/hour received by the chief bailiff and 100% of the $25/hour received by the deputy bailiff.

Council President Zeb Wagner then opened the meeting for citizen comments, and Beair addressed the council. He is requesting that council vote to authorize a 4/20 Festival that would permit the recreational smoking of marijuana during the festival only. He cited similar activity in several surrounding communities and feels that a festival of this nature would benefit the entire community in the form of increased revenue.

Noting that Bellefontaine is the highest point in Ohio, the festival seems fitting, Beair said.

Council then moved into Executive Session. They will next meet on February 28th at 7:30 PM.