Point Pleasant bans tobacco from parks
by Beth Sergent firstname.lastname@example.org
POINT PLEASANT — The City of Point Pleasant has voted to take its public parks tobacco free with the exception of some designated areas within those parks.
The “designated areas” language was added to the ordinance when considering campers who pay to camp at Krodel Park. For example, the ordinance allows for the designation of the campground at Krodel as a place where tobacco is allowed but only on the campground, not on the playground or in the club house, etc.
Also, tobacco, particularly smoking cigarettes, will be prohibited at other public parks and only allowed in designated areas, if the city desires. For example, smoking will be strictly prohibited within the amphitheater portion of Riverfront Park where many concerts and events occur — in fact, rampant smoking and exposure of others to secondhand smoke in the amphitheater is one of the reasons why the ordinance was enacted. It remains unclear if a designated smoking area will be created at Riverfront Park, though it has been discussed at council meetings and, again, the ordinance allows for that option.
This ordinance affects all city parks, including Harmon where many sporting events take place for youth who are sometimes exposed to smoking near the dugouts and even on the fields — this will no longer be the case. Again, it remains unclear if a designated smoking area will be identified at Harmon Park, but the ordinance will allow for it.
The ordinance reads as follows: Whereas, the City of Point Pleasant finds that it is in the best interest of the public to prohibit certain activities within areas designated as “parks” within the city, inasmuch as those activities may be detrimental to the health, safety, and/or welfare of those engaging in said activities, as well as the general public; and whereas, certain activities result in litter or damage to, or diminish the beauty of, the grounds and/or the facilities that comprise the parks. No person shall use any form of tobacco on the grounds of, or within the facilities located upon, any area designated a “park” by the city, except in those areas within said parks designated by the City for such use, if any.
In addition to the tobacco ban in parks, unless in designated areas, the ordinance also includes a section which prohibits swimming within any body of water located upon, or adjacent to, any area designated a “park” by the city, unless such activity is done as part of an event sanctioned by the city and where the city has furnished lifeguards on site.
This means no swimming at the Riverfront Park or Krodel Park. The city had already placed “no swimming” signs in these parks but until now didn’t have the ordinance to actually back up the threat.
Any person violating this ordinance may be subject to immediate ejection from the park and shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $250.
The second reading of the ordinance passed eight to one with Councilman Allen Moran voting against it, citing he felt the fines were too high.
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