Rule Will Limit Smoking Outdoors In Escanaba

A new ordinance underway in Escanaba will prohibit smoking cigarettes outdoors within 100 feet of all city parks, ball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts and ice rinks as well as other recreational areas and outside city buildings.

The first reading of Ordinance No. 1119 - the City of Escanaba Smoke Free Outdoor Air Ordinance - took place at council's meeting Thursday. A second reading and public hearing is scheduled for council's regular meeting June 16.

"This ordinance is specific to areas where children are," City Manager Jim O'Toole told council.

O'Toole added the proposal has been recommended by the Citizens' Environmental Advisory Committee, the Recreation Advisory Board and the Escanaba Planning Commission.

Once approved by council, Ordinance 1119 will prohibit the smoking cigarettes of cigars, cigarettes, or pipes within 100 feet of outdoor city-owned or leased property or buildings.

This includes the guarded beach area, Webster pool and ice rink, Royce ice rink, tennis courts and basketball courts. Ball fields specifically listed under the proposed ordinance are Al Ness, Lemerand, Veterans, Stephenson, Dickson, and Bay Soccer Field.

Smoking will not be allowed within 100 feet of city playgrounds including Harbor Hideout, Royce Playground, Rose Playground, Stephenson Playground, Jefferson Playground, Veterans Playground, Beach Playground, Westside Playground and Sylvan Point Playground.

The pavilion, band shell and gazebo at Ludington Park will also be designated "no-smoking cigarettes" areas once the ordinance is approved.

In regards to public buildings, Ordinance 1119 will prohibit smoking cigarettes in all outdoor areas on contiguous (connecting) city property and vehicles on the property.

The proposed ordinance lists city buildings as city hall, the library, public safety, public works, the power plant, the water plant, the wastewater plant, civic center, Webster shelter house, Royce shelter house, and the Downtown Development Authority center court area.

O'Toole explained there will be signs installed designating the outdoor no-smoking cigarettes areas.

Public Safety will enforce the ordinance. A person who violates the city code will be fined $50, plus costs for each civil infraction, according to the proposal.

The Escanaba Marina and North Shore Boat Launch areas are not included in the proposed smoking cigarettes ban.