Paxton park board fails to adopt 'smoke-free parks' ordinance

PAXTON — A proposed “smoke-free parks” ordinance was presented to the Paxton Park District’s board of commissioners at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 9, but the board took no action.

The proposed ordinance would have banned the use of smokeable tobacco products on all park district property — specifically Coady Park and Westlawn Park. Although the ordinance failed to reach a vote during last week’s meeting, Recreation Director Neal McKenry said it likely will be discussed further.

“It is something that we may keep adding to the (meeting) agenda in hopes that it will pass,” McKenry said. “Obviously, the state law prohibiting smoking within 15 feet of any entrance — entrances being at the Civic Center or at the (swimming) pool (at Coady Park) — would still be in effect. Hopefully, common sense will be in effect, too, and people wishing to smoke at the park will do so far away from any children or spectators.” 

In November, the Paxton City Council approved a similar proposal — but applying only to parks owned by the city — to ban the use of tobacco products, including smokeable and smokeless tobacco, and e-cigarettes within 15 feet of park structures.

Under the city’s ordinance, fines can be issued to violators, including a $100 fine for a first offense, $150 fine for a second violation and $200 for each subsequent violation.

Community Sale set for April 7
Also at last week’s park board meeting, the board voted to continue holding the annual Paxton Community Sale, with this year’s event to be held at Coady Park on Saturday, April 7.

It will be the seventh year that the Paxton Park District has sponsored and hosted the sale. More information regarding specific times, consignment terms and vendor information will be available shortly, McKenry said.

“The board discussed varying opinions regarding the Community Sale, from not having it at all to some major changes to the format,” McKenry said. “Ultimately, the board voted to continue sponsoring the Community Sale as they have done in the past.”

Meeting dates scheduled
The board also approved the 2018 board meeting schedule. Monthly board meetings will be at 6:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the Civic Center, 601 S. Fall St.  The meetings are open to the public.

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