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TOBACCO BAN NIXED Park board will continue to allow tobacco use at outdoor facilities

 
 
 

After months of discussion, the Jamestown Parks and Recreation Commission decided Monday to not ban the use of tobacco products at outdoor facilities of the Jamestown Parks and Recreation Department.

The commission voted 1-3 against the second reading of a proposed ordinance that would have banned the use of tobacco products at the department’s outdoor facilities. Commission member Mark Ukestad voted in favor of the second reading, while Chairman Larry Knoblich and members Ron Olson and Mike Landscoot voted against it. If the commission had approved holding the second reading, it could have approved or denied the proposed ordinance. By not holding the second reading, the commission effectively denied the proposed ordinance.

In previous discussions Landscoot and Olson supported exempting the Hillcrest Municipal Golf Course from the proposed ban. Landscoot said he was concerned that if smoking is banned at the golf course, Hillcrest would lose members to the Jamestown Country Club, which allows smoking on its golf course.

Olson said he supported encouraging people to live healthy lifestyles, but he saw the tobacco use ban in outdoor areas as virtually unenforceable.

"I can’t see how you tell someone they can’t smoke outside.

RON OLSON, Jamestown Parks and Recreation Commission member

“I can’t see how you tell someone they can’t smoke outside,” he said.

Ukestad said he would support exempting the golf course because he didn’t want to lose golf course members who want to smoke while playing golf.

Jamestown Parks and Recreation Director Doug Hogan said exempting the golf course would “open the door” to people asking that tobacco use be allowed for their recreation use, like softball or baseball.

Nancy Neary, director of tobacco prevention for Central Valley Health District, brought a draft ordinance to the commission in March to consider adopting. At the time there were funds available from the North Dakota Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control that would pay for signs informing the public about the ban if the ordinance was adopted by the commission.

Those funds were no longer available after June 30, so the signs would have to be paid for by the Parks and Recreation Department.

Hogan said a company had offered to pay part of the costs for signs if the ordinance was approved.

Neary said signs would be 95 percent of the department’s enforcement effort, so if the ordinance had been passed, signs would be necessary.

“That (signs) is how the public would know there is a policy, it would be part of educating the public,” she said.

Joyce Heinrich, a former commission member, said the commission should adopt the ordinance to reinforce the message to young people not to use tobacco products.

In other business, the commission accepted 4-0 the impending resignation of Parks and Recreation Commission member Richard Ryan. Ryan had not attended a meeting in two months. Hogan said he talked with Ryan Monday and Ryan indicated he would be resigning for personal reasons and would hand in a letter of resignation later this week. Anyone interested in filling the remainder of Ryan’s term through 2018 should call Jamestown Parks and Recreation Department at 252-3982 for information about the application process.

colson@jamestownsun.com

(701) 952-8454

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