Berryville council approves tobacco ban in parks

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Berryville City Council approved an ordinance banning tobacco use at city parks on a third and final reading Tuesday night.

The ordinance prohibits smoking and the use of tobacco products in all parks owned or maintained by the city. It bans smoking, inhaling, exhaling, burning or carrying any lit tobacco product. It also prohibits chewed tobacco and the use of e-cigarettes.

Berryville resident Gayle Roberts-Stewart spoke against the ordinance, asking the council if the matter could be revisited in a year.

"What would you be looking for to know whether or not it's producing what you want it to produce?" Roberts-Stewart said.

The ordinance will be assessed, Mayor Tim McKinney said, by how many problems it creates. If no one complains about the ordinance and people comply with it, McKinney said the city would have no reason to change it.

"If we don't have a bunch of complaints with it we'll assume everyone's compliant and go on," McKinney said.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, the council approved Ordinance 984 on a first reading. The proposed ordinance updates animal control regulations to prohibit roosters and repeals any ordinances that conflict with it.

City attorney Clint Scheel noted that the ordinance will help regulate animals in city limits, saying it's necessary for public safety and health.

The council approved two resolutions allowing McKinney to apply for grants on behalf of the city. Resolution 985 authorizes McKinney to apply for a grant for the construction and establishment of soccer fields. According to the resolution, McKinney will seek $15,000 to complete the soccer field project.

Resolution 985 authorizes McKinney to apply for a grant for advertising expenses associated with the 2016 Annual Ice Cream Social & Craft Fair. The resolution says McKinney will seek $1,200 to help the city adequately advertise the annual event.

The council's next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17 at City Hall.

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