Editor’s Note: The story has been corrected to state that WRPA will use CARES Act money to buy treat bags.
(WKBN) – Although Halloween is more than a month away, many area communities are already making plans. For some, that means making sure trick-or-treating is a go.
Poland Township, Austintown and New Middletown are three communities that have decided to continue the yearly tradition.
“The schools are in session, Poland’s going five days a week. So we figured if the kids could go to school, at least we’re going to offer them the opportunity for them and their families to trick-or-treat,” said Poland Township Trustee Eric Ungaro.
“Assured the residents we are going to have Halloween. If you don’t want trick-or-treaters at your house, shut the light off. If you don’t want your kid trick-or-treating, just don’t send them,” said Austintown Township Trustee Jim Davis.
“With the help of the Western Reserve Port Authority, we have come up with a plan to have a drive-thru trick-or-treat,” said Girard Mayor Jim Melfi.
Melfi says the WRPA will use CARES Act money to buy treat bags, which will be placed in the trunks of cars on Halloween.
Melfi also says other communities — Youngstown, Warren, McDonald, Newton Falls, Niles and some of the townships — may also participate. The deadline to decide is Wednesday.
“We took the bull by the horns. We’ve been working on it for six weeks and I think we’re going to put it together where the kids are going to have a very nice trick-or-treat, considering the circumstances,” Melfi said.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was asked about Halloween during his Tuesday briefing.
“Look, local health departments, as well as the state health department, will certainly have recommendations in regards to Halloween,” DeWine said.
“We don’t need the governor’s help in making decisions. We’re intelligent individuals and we can do what we feel is best for our community,” Davis said.
“Everybody’s been dealing with this for seven, eight months. If you can’t figure out what you have to do to stay safe, the decisions you want to make, we’re not going to be the COVID police. But hey, there it is. If you would like to participate, you’re more than welcome,” Ungaro said.
Struthers Mayor Cat Cercone-Miller says no decisions have been made yet about trick-or-treating. She’s waiting on guidelines from the governor.
Boardman Township Administrator Jason Loree says trick-or-treating is still posted to happen on Halloween from 5-7 p.m., but he too is waiting on guidance.
Campbell Mayor Nick Phillips said trick-or-treating will go on as scheduled on Halloween night from 5-7 p.m. He said that’s the date and time set by Campbell City Council, so there’s no reason to change it.
Phillips released a statement on Wednesday that read, in part, “Government cannot cherry-pick what we will allow our citizens to do, or what we won’t allow our citizens to do. Federal judges… have already ruled it’s unconstitutional and arbitrary to permit one activity and not another activity.”