City cracks down on unwanted 'artwork'
Marysville Mayor John Gore issued a warning Thursday night to anyone looking to create unwanted artwork on city property this summer.
"Don't spray-paint anything around town because if you get caught, we're going full bore with it," Gore said.
As an example, he told Marysville City Council at its May 9 meeting that two men, a 20-year-old from Marysville and a 22-year-old from Tennessee, were caught spray-painting the bridge on Maple Street at 5:40 p.m. May 6. Both were charged with criminal mischief.
The two appeared in court in front of Marysville Municipal Court Judge Michael Grigsby, who sent a message as well.
The crime was considered a first offense, but Grigsby fined both men $500 plus court costs and sentenced them to 30 days in jail and three years' probation.
"I commend the judge and the police department for that sentencing and hopefully, that's a message to young kids or anyone," Gore said.
Both men were ordered to be furloughed from jail at 8 a.m. May 21 to repaint the bridge at their own expense.
Gore said Marysville Public Service Director John Mitchell "will be there to supervise to make sure it's done correctly."
The two men will go back to court May 23 to give an update on the status of the bridge painting.
The Maple Street Bridge over Mill Creek underwent a major update last fall. The project included replacing some of the beams, rails and sidewalks, and repaving the bridge. The majority of funding came from the Ohio Department of Transportation's Municipal Bridge Program.
"The importance of this is, obviously, the judge is taking it seriously and whether you agree with the sentencing or not, at the end of the day, that's defacing government property," Gore said.
In other business May 9, council heard the first reading of an ordinance that would prohibit tobacco use on city-owned property.
Gore had asked the public affairs committee to consider including electronic cigarettes in the ordinance in order to address litter control.
"The goal was to eliminate a lot of the litter, preserve our new facilities and, of course, the health concern," he said.
Councilwoman Deborah Groat pointed out that Marysville already has laws on the books to deal with litter. Gore agreed and conceded that the use of electronic cigarettes is uncommon, so at this time, it is not a big problem.
The ordinance proposes that anyone caught using tobacco on city property would be guilty of a third-degree misdemeanor and fined $25 for the first offense and no more than $100 for the second offense. A third offense would cost $150.