Curfew begins tonight for Struthers
STRUTHERS — Effective today, the city of Struthers will have a curfew until further notice.
During the city council meeting Wednesday, Mayor Catherine Miller declared the executive order.
Declaring Struthers to be in a state of emergency, as the state and nation are, the nightly curfew from 11:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. will be enforced, Miller said.
The curfew applies to all people within the city limits, and businesses. It applies to pedestrians as well as motorists, and will be in effect until Ohio lifts the stay-at-home health order or city council deems it safe to cancel the action. It also applies to people simply traveling through.
Otherwise, citations will be issued. Those who do not follow the curfew will be fined, said city law Director John Zomoida.
“Any person who violates the order may be charged with obstructing official business,” he stated, which is a second-degree misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and / or a fine of $750.
Miller and Zomoida were not aware of other municipalities enforcing a curfew.
Originally, the declaration also stated that any child under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult or guardian. After further conversation with Zomoida, that line was struck from the order.
“We have decided that it is not in the best interest of the city to implement the restriction of juveniles at this point,” Miller said.
The mayor assembled a civil defense council, as mandated by legislation when there is a state of emergency.
Miller said she appointed Christina Bohl, city auditor; Dallas Bigley, coucilman; Tim Daley, safety director; Tina Smith, certified physicians assistant; with Zomoida as head of the committee.
The mayor noted that while she expects some negativity, she also expects residents to support the decision.
“This is unprecedented,” she said, referring to the pandemic.
Miller spent the day Wednesday on the phone with local businesses in Struthers that she said “have been deemed essential” according to Gov. Mike DeWine’s classifications. The businesses in the city limits “have been very willing to work with us,” she said.
Those traveling to and from Struthers during the curfew hours to essential positions outside the city will be exempt, along with first responders.
The decision to enforce a curfew is proactive, Miller said.
She also said that as mayor, it is her responsibility to residents to set these kinds of measures in place.
Miller said she had been in contact with council members regarding the declaration.
“We need to try to do our part to stop the spread of (COVID-19),” she said.
While she and officials don’t think the curfew will be difficult to implement, Miller said the city will try to do what it can to protect the residents and businesses. “We’re just trying to stress the fact we want people to take this serious, we want people to stay at home,” Miller said.