The city of Zanesville has plans to ban panhandling.
During Monday's public safety committee meeting at city hall, the committee openly discussed the issue of soliciting near the city's entryways, and voted to draft an ordinance to address the panhandling problem in Zanesville. Numerous members of the committee, including chairman Andrew Roberts, said the city's main concern is about safety and "not about stopping assistance" to those less fortunate.
"Safety is of the utmost priority, that the individual soliciting the money will not be injured," said Roberts. "Also, the people being solicited aren't being harassed or injured in any of this."
The director of public safety's office, the mayor's office and council members have all received complaints from residents regarding the panhandling problem in Zanesville. Committee members say the panhandling problem not only creates safety issues, but it has also created a litter problem near the off-ramps of the highways, causing the city to pull resources from other departments.
"The city's had to pull guys off the street crew to go up there and clean up trash that's been left along through there, as of late, there's been a few seating areas that they've constructed down there. So yeah, it's just become an issue since there's been so many."
Roberts will meet with the public safety director, the chief of police and the city law director to draft an ordinance. Roberts says he hopes to have the ordinance passed at city council within a month or so.