Town looking to deter smoking at park

Strasburg town officials are looking to deter smoking around the town’s park.

On Tuesday, the town’s ordinance committee agreed to place signage around the park, in the hopes that it curbs smoking around the town park playground and pool area.

This is the first time the issue has been discussed by town officials since an ordinance to ban smoking in the park failed to pass council in 2012.

Acting Town Manager Jay McKinley said that a town resident reached out two months ago and voiced concerns about smoking in that area.

He said the major concern of the resident was that “they had seen people smoking in the playground around children.”

With the committee’s decision, McKinley said, “At this point, we want to put some signs out to try to get people to voluntarily not smoke around the kids in the park.”

Councilman Don Le Vine, the current committee chairman, said that the committee was divided over a few options or possible ordinances.

“One was to have the whole park smoke-free, another would have it all smoking or you could have certain spots that were smoke-free,” Le Vine said.

Le Vine added the concern of keeping smoke from children became complicated due to future plans for a dog and skating park in that area.

“We couldn’t come to a consensus, and Jay [McKinley] suggested, as a trial, to put some signs up, asking people to consider others when they smoke,” Le Vine said.

McKinley said that the town might revisit a possible ordinance if people do not comply with the signage.

“Obviously, if they voluntarily comply with the signage, then it’s not going to be an issue,” McKinley said, adding, “If we get complaints by citizens again, I’m sure they’ll take it back up.”

Le Vine said, “I think this is a good approach. There’s no point having laws or ordinances if you don’t need them.”

According to McKinley, the signs could be placed in areas near the park within the next two or three weeks.

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kgreen@nvdaily.com