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Smiths Station City Council votes to make all athletic facilities, parks tobacco-free

All parks and athletic facilities within the Smiths Station city limits will be tobacco-free after an ordinance passed by the Smiths Station City Council during their meeting last Tuesday.

Those guilty of violating the ordinance will be asked to dispose or refrain from using their tobacco products on first offense. Continued violation will result in being asked to leave the park or facility.

“Before, there was smoking and tobacco use allowed in designated areas, which has resulted in problems and is the reason behind drawing up and passing this ordinance. I hate that is has come to this, but it has gotten out of control,” said Mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland.

“This is something I’ve been looking at more and more over the past six months,” added Smiths Station Parks and Recreation Director Jason Stewart. “It had become increasingly hard for the youth leagues to police the smoking at the park themselves, with people smoking or vaping in such close vicinity to the children. This ordinance was brought forth because the kids in our community deserve better from all of us. I’ve personally witnessed and had many discussions with visitors to our park these past few months that are smoking in areas that kids must pass through nightly to get to their respective fields, not even counting the citizens who are using the walking trail for exercise and walking right into a cloud of smoke. I don’t want to ever alienate anyone, but this was the best course of action we feel. Our park houses so many of our youth sports, and I think in the end our citizens will appreciate that we continue to put those children first”

The council also heard and approved a request for a special-use permit for modifications to Verizon equipment on an existing cell-phone tower at 31 Grace Road from David Andrews of the Center for Municipal Services.

“They will remove six antennas from their part of the tower, two from each sector, and replace them with new ones. This will be a capacity upgrade,” Andrews said.

In other business, the council:

-approved minutes from the Oct. 22 meeting
-approved a rescheduling of the Dec. 24 regular meeting to Dec. 23
-held a first reading for changes to the city’s business license ordinance. The council will be able to vote on this ordinance at their next meeting on Nov. 24.

The Smiths Station City Council meet on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, with a work session beginning at 5:30 p.m. E.S.T. and regular meeting at 6 p.m. E.S.T. Their meetings are held in the council chambers of the Smiths Station Government Center which is located at 2336 Lee Road 430. For more information, visit smithsstational.gov or call 334-297-8771.