Live music and festivals help to make Haddad Riverfront Park a summer hot spot.
“This is where most of the complaints are coming from,” Susie Salisbury, chair of the city’s Parks and Recreation, said.
Complaints of smoking sparked a push to ban it during events at Haddad, but now the Parks and Recreation Committee is looking into a 24/7 ban.
“Everything’s on the table. We have a lot of different ways this could go,” Salisbury said.
Nothing is set in stone, but there’s also a possibility the city will put a stop to smoking at nearly all city parks and outdoor areas at community centers. The proposal is getting mixed reviews.
“I’m not a smoker, but if it’s an outdoor park I don’t see a problem with it. As long as long as they’re not blowing the smoke in my face, I don’t see that there’s any problem,” Connie Pitman said.
“It triggers their asthma and causes them to have to use their inhalers,” Mike Fleck said about his children.
Fleck’s children are allergic to smoke, and he is all for anything to help keep them away from it.
“It’s a burden because they might be playing, and they don’t want to leave,” Fleck said. “Then they throw a fit because we make them leave, and they just don’t understand why they have to leave.”
“When you’re outdoors, you’re breathing in the fresh air. You don’t want to have to breathe in second-hand smoke from a cigar or a cigarette,” Salisbury said.
Another idea being tossed around is to have designated areas in parks where smoking is allowed.
This will all be discussed April 10 at the next Parks and Recreation meeting.
The committee hopes to have an ordinance ready for City Council within the next few months.