Thorsby council talks smoking at park again

Published 9:57 pm Monday, April 18, 2011

Rules and regulations regarding smoking at Thorsby’s baseball and football parks are still being decided upon as discussed at the town’s council meeting Monday night.

“One lady who disobeys should not ruin it for everybody,” said James Dunn, who has been a resident of Thorsby for 18 years. ”It’s not everybody, and most of us are decent enough to ask where can we smoke. There are more smokers than non-smokers at the ballpark. We’ve fought WWI and WWII for our freedom rights.”

Dunn went on to express how he did not think it’s right for one person to make the whole town or park smoke-free.

“We need to push a stink about getting prayer back in the schools, instead of smoking at the ballpark, he said.”

“If we’re going to get down to smoking, lets get down to all the issues – lets get down to the nitty gritty, not just smoking,” said Dunn. “I’ve been a resident for 18 years and I’ve never caused a stink before, but if smoking is banned, then all the rules will have to be enforced, like no outside food in the ballpark.”

Thorsby Mayor Dearl Hilyer explained how it is a bigger problem than one person getting upset or having any kind of power, and there have been numerous complaints about the smoking.

“If you can smell it, you’re too close,” said council member Tara Hunt Jewell.

“There is no safe air space when it comes to secondhand smoke and children,” said Pam Price, a concerned parent who brought up the issue at the previous council meeting. “The park is for the kids, and they deserve an area to stay in good health.”

Price went on to say that smoking was still going on in the bleachers and close to the field last Monday, and since the rules are not being followed, she would like to push for a smoke-free ordinance.

Hilyer gave the council three choices, to pass an ordinance for all parks to be smoke-free, designate certain smoking areas or take two more weeks to review the parks.

“I don’t think we’re ready to make a decision on this yet,” said Hilyer. “Once we do the ordinance, I want this to be done with. The recommendation that parks and recreation set up did not meet up with the 100-foot rule, so we will push back on that said.”

The council voted to keep the designated smoking area in the parking lot at the corner of Field Three as is until further review.

In other business, Dollar General will open for business this weekend.

“The store will open no earlier than Friday at 5 p.m., and no later than Sunday,” said Hilyer. “But they are hoping for Saturday.”

The store’s grand opening will be held in approximately three weeks.