Written by Lindsey Burnworth
Last updated on March 27, 2013 @ 6:48PM
Created on March 27, 2013 @ 5:27PM
Smokers in Buckhannon may not be welcomed to light up in city parks if a proposed ordinance passes its second reading in city council.
The ordinance unanimously passed its first reading at the last council meeting, and will be voted on again at the next meeting.
City officials hope that by passing this ordinance, they'll help keep the parks clean, and make them a better place for everyone in Buckhannon.
If passed, smoking and all other tobacco products would be banned in city parks, the Stockert Youth Center, and the Charles W. Gibson Library. It would also include any place fairs and festivals are held, including the Strawberry Festival and Festival Fridays at Jawbone Park.
If caught using tobacco products, people could be charged with a misdemeanor. First time offenders would be fined $50, second time offenders could have to pay up to $100, and if caught a third time, people could be fined $200.
City officials said this could be a step in the right direction for the city.
"Part of this is to send the message, as we did with the ban on synthetic drugs, that we don't want this in our community, we don't want the litter in our community from the smoking. We don't want people to be subjected to secondhand smoke," said Mayor Kenny Davidson.
People around town told 5 News they agree with the ordinance.
"It would be a good thing to go ahead and ban it. We're not allowed to smoke in public places, like schools or anywhere else, and I'm totally against smoking. I was a user of tobacco for 35 years, and my grandson finally convinced me to quit it, and I think it would be a good idea," said Buckhannon resident, George Bennett.
If passed at the next council meeting on April 4th, the ban could take effect one month later on May 4th.
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