Thorsby limits park smoking

Published 3:35 pm Friday, April 29, 2011

Thorsby council members voted at Friday’s council meeting no smoking or smokeless tobacco will be allowed outside of designated areas at Thorsby’s parks and all city properties.

Thorsby Mayor Dearl Hilyer explained the two options that were on the table to solve the smoking issue to the council:

“Either we adopt the ordinance and become totally tobacco free or pass the ordinance recognizing the smoking areas that will give the police the ability to enforce it and write citations,” said Hilyer.

The ordinance will include Sam Bentley as well as Richard Wood parks. Council member Neal Benson, the liaison for Thorsby’s parks and recreation, was absent from the meeting, but has gone to the park and measured the distance from the fields in order to place the no smoking signs in the appropriate areas.

“In order to enforce it, the police has to see someone smoking or someone has to be willing to sign off saying they saw it,” said Denise Gunn, town clerk.

Council member Jean Nelson made a motion to adopt the ordinance with designated smoking or smokeless tobacco areas at Sam Bentley Park, no smoking or smokeless tobacco beyond the entrance of Richard Wood Park and no smoking or smokeless tobacco allowed on the walking trail at Sam Bentley Park. Council member Willis Britt seconded the motion.

The ordinance was approved unanimously.

More signs will be added and arranged to comply with surgeon general recommendations of 100 feet.

“This is a great step giving smokers a designated area,” said Crumpton. “If there is a place 100 feet, then let them do that. There will be people who will not want to follow the rules, but this will slow it down and get it to where we can deal with it. If we lived in a perfect world it would be good.”

The smoking signs will pull all smoking away from the high traffic areas and the fields.

The police will have the ability to enforce the regulation and present fines no less than $1 and no more than $100, Hilyer said.

In other business, the council approved a resolution for the town of Thorsby to recognize May 5 as the National Day of Prayer.

A resolution was also approved for a walking trail grant.

The trail will connect Richard Wood Park to Sam Bentley Park.

The grant will pay 80 percent, and the town will be responsible for 20 percent, which can be paid with in kind work.