By Joe Bachman
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — City officials discussed action on creating an ordinance that bans smoking by the Mead Splash Pad, and possibly future outdoor aquatics venues.
Currently, the ordinance only restricts smoking in areas next to buildings, but has nothing in place for an outdoor park such as the splash pad. According to staff, complaints have been received over the matter on more than one occasion since it has opened. Public Works Director Joe Terry asked the committee to go forward in recommending that the city attorney look into creating an ordinance that would restrict smoking from the splash pad.
“Certainly, you’re in an area with children, and eventually you’re going to have an outdoor pool facility,” said Terry. “…I don’t think it’s something that we want to be hasty about and talk to the community.”
According to Terry, Wausau is going through a similar process, where there exists no ordinance against outdoor smoking near aquatics facilities, sans buildings. Sentiments into further discussion were shared by all committee members that the discussion should at the very least be started.
“With fall and winter coming, this is the appropriate time to discuss such things,” said Alderperson Tom Rayome.
No action was taken on the matter, though the committee will likely recommend potential future ordinance creation on the matter.