An ordinance that would tighten Evansville’s smoking ban will be introduced to City Council tonight and will include short presentations by representatives from Casino Aztar and the local Smoke Free initiative.
This will be the second time City Council has taken on the smoking ban after it came to a stalemate on the issue in March 2010. Shortly before the November election, 2nd Ward Councilwoman Missy Mosby was the lone opponent to a smoking ban. Mosby had said business owners in her ward said the ban would badly hurt business.
At-large Councilman H. Dan Adams said Sunday night said the amendment that will be introduced contains no exemptions. Section No. 2 of the amendment states current city code against public smoking should include bars, restaurants, “And any other eating establishment which gives or offers for sale food to the public, guests, or employees, and including catering facilities.”
The amendment also includes riverboats.
“It basically will mirror what we already have set up in (Vanderburgh) County,” Adams said.
Adams also said tonight only is a first read and will not include any debate. The amendment would require two more reads and could come to a vote Feb. 13. Casino Aztar General Manager Ward Shaw will make a presentation on how the ban could affect operations on the riverboat. The local Smoke Free Communities initiative also will provide a presentation.
“And until it comes to a vote — and that’s if it comes to a vote — there will be plenty of time for public comment,” Adams said.
Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke said he is in favor of a stricter smoking ban and is anxious to see what debate will surface. Winnecke also said he had spoken to several members of council.
“But I really don’t have a sense of what they’ll do,” he said.