The Joplin City Council will be asked to give first-round approval Monday to measures that would put Tobacco 21 in place in Joplin.
One measure would restrict retailers of tobacco, nicotine or e-cigarettes from selling those products to anyone under age 21. The current age is 18. The ordinance also would establish a requirement that those retailers buy a $25 permit from the city to sell the products. Revenue would be used to pay for enforcement of the ordinance.
The ordinance puts the responsibility on stores and store clerks to be sure they only sell to customers 21 or older. Store clerks can be cited for violations of the age requirement.
Those who buy or use the products while underage would not be cited. Advocates say the age should be raised because many people start smoking at a young age and then stay with the habit, and the restriction has been shown to reduce the use of tobacco or nicotine products by about 25%.
Proponents recently told the City Council they do not support citing those who use the products at a young age to be subject to arrest or citation under the law because they believe it would inhibit young people from seeking help to stop nicotine habits.
The measure would require final action later this month.
The council also will give first-round consideration to a proposed five-year schedule of sewer rate increases for city sewer service that was discussed at an earlier meeting.
The increases would be 5% per year starting next year, amounting to a cumulative 25% over five years.
That would raise the typical residential bill by $2 to $2.50 in each of the five years, reaching a total increase of about $12. Next year's residential rates would go up about $2.08 a month.
In following years, the increase would be:
• $2.21 to $46.20 in 2021.
• $2.29 to $48.49 in 2022.
• $2.43 to $50.92 in 2023.
• $2.57 to $53.49 in 2024.
The council was told recently that a rate study conducted by Burns & McDonnell shows that without those increases, the unrestricted reserve funding in the sewer fund used to meet emergencies for equipment failures and other repairs would be depleted by 2023.
The council also will consider changes to personnel rules and to rules of the Police and Firefighters Pension Fund to prepare for funding and benefit changes as a result of Proposition B, the half-cent sales tax passed by voters last month to eventually close the fund and move newly hired workers to the state pension fund.
A related ordinance would set up the city's participation in the Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System to start police and fire employees hired after Feb. 1 there rather than the city pension fund.
In other business, public hearings will be held on two zoning requests.
• Richard Ruestman of Business Investments Inc. seeks rezoning of 3209 Connecticut Ave. from residential to neighborhood commercial for future commercial development.
• A request by Samuel M. Coryell seeks to rezone property where the Joplin Stockyards was formerly located on Newman Road from industrial to planned development commercial district to build a multi-family residential development.