City's tobacco-free rule takes effect July 17
City-owned property in Marysville will go tobacco-free July 17, thanks to an ordinance unanimously approved by Marysville City Council in June.
"I just thought it was the right thing to do and council thought it was the right thing to do," Mayor John Gore said.
"It has been something that the administration has discussed for several months and feels that with the completion of our new facilities, it was the appropriate time to bring legislation forward," City Administrator Terry Emery said.
Once the administration decided to push for a tobacco-free policy, officials researched other communities in Ohio that have enacted similar legislation.
Public Information Officer Anna Krutowskis said the goal is to create a healthier environment on all city-owned property and to eliminate the litter that often accompanies tobacco use.
Gore said he has received nothing but positive feedback so far.
"I've been in a few meetings recently (where) we have been praised for taking that step," he said. "Mostly the meetings have been with the health department but still, they've been very appreciative."
Gore said the new rule has been posted on the city's website.
"I still notice there are people that are still smoking here and there on city property. We will be enforcing it," he said of the new policy.
Residents and city staff members can help with that.
"If someone is seen using a tobacco product on city property, they can report it to the police department or simply make the person aware that tobacco use is not permitted," Emery said. "We are hopeful that the signage will dramatically deter tobacco use on city property."
Signs will go up around the city letting people know about the tobacco-free rule. The signs will cost the city $750.
Emery said verbal warnings will be the most common method used to deter or eliminate the use of tobacco products.
There are penalties listed in the ordinance, although Krutowskis said city officials hope people asked to stop using tobacco "will comply and no further ation will be necessary."
Violators, if convicted, can be fined up to $25 for a first offense, up to $100 for a second offense and up to $150 for a third "or subsequent" offense.
Gore said he recently realized that a portion of the ordinance may be a little too strict.
"City property is the street," he said. "If we enforce this on city property, technically, people can't smoke in the street or in their car. It's a violation the way we wrote it."
Gore said administration will bring an amendment back to council at some point but in the meantime, the ordinance will still take effect this month.