Council Approves Tobacco Compliance Checks
The town may also begin cracking down on property appearances.
At Monday's Town Council meeting, an agreement with the State of Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals and the Coventry Police Department was approved. The agreement allows compliance check inspections of licensed retail tobacco outlets to be done in order to determine retailer compliance with federal regulations prohibiting the sale of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to individuals under the age of 18.
During the checks, the CPD will enlist young people to go into tobacco retail locations and attempt to buy tobacco products. If the establishment's employees do not check the underage customer's identification, the business will be cited, fined and required to take steps to improve the process.
"This is a very good program that keeps everyone in check," said Police Chief Bryan Volpe. "We do have very good compliance in town already, which is good to see."
The program is state-funded and Town of Coventry will be reimbursed for any cost that is incurred during its run.
CTA Bargaining Agreement
Council members approved a new collective bargaining agreement between Coventry Public Schools and the Coventry Teachers' Alliance (CTA) School Related Personnel.
The agreement had previously been negotiated and was explained and unanimously agreed upon during a joint session between the Town Council and School Committee last Tuesday. Due to a recent charter change, the Town Council is now required to have final approval.
Peace and Good Order Ordinance
The final agenda item was an introduction to ordinance changes that will be advertised to town residents and voted upon at a future meeting. The amendments would be made to Chapter 180 of the town's Code of Ordinances, Peace and Good Order, making it the duty of any person owning or leasing property in a residential zoning district to maintain the premises in a reasonably clean and orderly manner and to a standard conforming to other orderly premises in the neighborhood.
The amendments were originally devised as a means of requiring banks and other entities that own foreclosed properties in town to keep them maintained and will mainly target properties with long grass, with the maximum height being one foot before the Zoning Department will take action.