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City council ponders skate ban
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer
Martinsville City Council on Tuesday will consider formalizing a ban on skateboarding and similar activities in the uptown business district.
During its Jan. 22 meeting, the council adopted on first reading an ordinance amendment to that effect. Council members now must consider finalizing the amendment by adopting it on second reading.
Because the amendment initially was adopted in a unanimous vote, it is all but certain that the council will adopt it on second reading with little or no discussion — it basically is a formality.
Complaints about skateboarders damaging property at locations uptown, including the refurbished former Henry County courthouse, prompted city officials to revise an ordinance dealing with skateboarding and skating.
The ordinance, enacted several years ago, will continue to ban anyone older than 14 years of age from skating on any public sidewalk.
Under the amendment, people are prohibited from using skateboards, roller skates, rollerblades, scooters or similar devices uptown.
The amendment includes a provision that it would not apply to police or other emergency workers responding to calls on duty, should they determine it necessary to skate to a call.
The council will meet at 7:30 p.m. tonight in its chambers upstairs at the municipal building on West Church Street. The agenda is light, compared to those of most regular, twice-a-month council meetings.
Other than the skateboarding ordinance amendment, agenda items include:
• Presenting a proclamation pertaining to Re-entry Awareness Month, which concerns people who have been released from incarceration;
• Hearing an update on activities of the Martinsville Uptown Revitalization Association, and
• Hearing business from the floor.
At 7 p.m., the council will meet in closed session to consult with legal counsel and discuss a personnel matter and possible appointments to commissions and boards.