There’s 1 place Hamilton will allow smoking if proposed ban passes

In this October 2016 file photo, a woman who works at the Government Services Center takes a smoke break outside the building. The city of Hamilton is looking to clamp down on smoking on its properties, including those it shares with Butler Count. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

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In this October 2016 file photo, a woman who works at the Government Services Center takes a smoke break outside the building. The city of Hamilton is looking to clamp down on smoking on its properties, including those it shares with Butler Count. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Butler County’s largest city is looking to ban smoking near entrances to its buildings, including the city/county complex at 315 and 345 High Street, and at its parks, with a likely exception for a smoking area at Hamilton’s summer concert series at RiversEdge Ampitheater.

MORE: Hamilton considers smoking, tobacco ban on all city property

Glenn Holmes, who works in the city’s fellowship program for the city manager and has helped administrators and council develop guidelines for the smoking restrictions, said there will be “some discretion” surrounding the smoking bans, but they generally will be limited to 25 feet from building entrances.

“This legislation impacts parks and recreational facilities, primarily,” Holmes said.

Vice Mayor Carla Fiehrer said she hopes the proposed legislation can be approved by the start of the summer concert series at the new Marcum Park’s existing amphitheater.

“I think it’s clear we’re going to look at providing designated smoking places, especially in places where there’s going to be high traffic — where we know there’s going to be people who want to smoke,” Holmes said.

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“You’re just trying to make it practical so you balance what the goal is, which is having public places where you have people feeling comfortable and healthy in, with good people who just want to smoke, and still and enjoy the concert,” Holmes said.

The city’s Ordinance Review Committee plans to discuss the proposed legislation during its 8 a.m. April 19 meeting before the matter goes to the Hamilton City Council for consideration.

The city has been working with county leaders on the proposed restrictions.

At this point, city officials are looking toward issuing warnings and providing smoking-cessation information to people found violating the new smoking boundaries, including during downtown festivals, before assessing later civil fines for repeat violators.

“We don’t want to be insensitive, but we’re taking this pretty seriously,” Fiehrer said.

She noted outside some building entrances, smokers “are just like birds on a perch,” with one “No Smoking” sign outside the government complex on High Street discolored from all the smoking that happens around it.

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