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Council Passes Smoking Ban in Parks

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April 30, 2010 by wcobserver

 

WEST FORK — The West Fork city council passed an ordinance 6-1 banning smoking in city parks at the April 20 meeting.

The ban, which doesn’t include parking lots, is effective immediately.  It will initially be enforced by parks director Stephen Sprick.

“You’re gonna really have to try to get a fine,” Sprick said.

According to Sprick, he will first verbally warn a violator by asking them to put the cigarette out. If, after several warnings the violator doesn’t cooperate, Sprick said he will call an officer on duty to come issue a ticket.

The fine for the violation is $25 and is issued like any ticket, complete with a court date.

West Fork has three city parks, Riverside, Carter, the Community Center, but the ban will affect other areas where children play — the community center playground and all the ball fields, Sprick said.

The city already has a ban on smoking in city buildings that includes pavilions and concession stands at the parks.

During the meeting, council member Misty Caudle asked Sprick why the ban didn’t cover the parking lot.

“It’s a give and take type thing,” Sprick said. “We’ll see how it goes for a year and if it’s still a huge problem, we could amend it.”

Mayor Jan Throgmorton said the ordinance is important to protect children and families.

Conway enacted a similar ordinance March 23 but with stricter guidelines.

The Conway city council decided to ban not only smoking at the parks, but the use of all tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco, in the Conway city parks and recreational facilities.

(((Police See Signs of K-2 Drug)))

West Fork city council members discussed growing concerns about the synthetic drug K-2 at their April 20 meeting.

Other cities are making ordinances to ban it, said council member Justin Harris.

Chief Nelson said the police department has already issued two tickets for K-2. Technically, because K-2 isn’t illegal, officers can only charge an offender with intoxication, not possession.

The marijuana-like substance known as K2, or Spice, was recently banned in Fayetteville. The Arkansas Department of Health released a report detailing the side effects of K-2 which can range from heart palpitations, vomiting, and in some cases — death.

In other business, the council members voted Doug Pope to the parks commission. Pope is a Fayetteville Police officer who lives in West Fork; Garden Market manager Frances Hime said the vendors will now accept Visa and EBT cards; Renewable Resource Center volunteer Paul Libor said the new cardboard recycling trailer is ready; and Butch Bartholomew, City Business Manager, Utilities Superintendent, Street Department Head, Building Inspector and Flood Plain Administrator, discussed repairs on water mains and sidewalks. Bartholomew said the next city-wide clean-up is scheduled for May 14 and 15.

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