Body cameras, downtown outdoor drinking get go-ahead

by Michele Collins

July 7 city council meeting

Hudson City Council voted to pass a resolution for the purchase of body cameras for the Hudson Police Department. The resolution will allow the city manager to buy over $196,000 of equipment from WatchGuard Video for an integrated body camera system. The purchase includes body cameras, in-car systems and operational technology. 

Council also approved the creation of a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA), which will allow patrons to purchase alcoholic beverages at downtown establishments and consume those beverages outdoors on the greens. The DORA is a temporary program, according to council, to help restaurants in the area that were hard hit by the closures from the pandemic in March, April and May. 

Council member Chris Foster said he sees the DORA as an opportunity for businesses and residents to see what this type of atmosphere would be like in Hudson.

Manager Jane Howington said that now that the DORA passed, the next step is to provide that request to the state Division of Liquor Control. Howington expects the process to take approximately three weeks to get final approval from the state. She said it is possible that the DORA could have a soft opening at the beginning of August. 

In addition, council created an internal fund to accept payment for the Coronavirus Relief Fund established by Summit County, which provides for payment of the salaries of health and safety workers needed due to the pandemic. 

Council also passed a resolution to purchase equipment from Crown Castle Fiber that increases the bandwidth for customers of Velocity Broadband. Prior to the vote, council member Skylar Sutton asked for clarification on what the funds would be used for. He said he believed it was inappropriate to add bandwidth to attract new customers due to reduced income tax revenue during pandemic. However, he did agree with providing what was needed to existing customers. Howington said the increased bandwidth was for the needs of existing businesses and clients. 

Council will consider an ordinance to change traffic patterns in the First and Main area.  Hudson city staff is proposing converting Village Way and Park Lane to one-way streets and modifying parking stall lines to increase parking in the First & Main area. The ordinance was given a first reading, and a public hearing on the matter is scheduled for July 21. 

This meeting, which had an executive session prior to its start, was held via Zoom due to the recommendations of the governor to hold meetings virtually through July.