Lowell smoke ban law, but debate smolders

Councilman Donald Huseman, R-1st, is still fuming about the recently passed clean air ordinance.

On Monday he again asked the Democratic majority if they would consider talking about exemptions for the comprehensive smoking ban.

“I have to bring up the clean air ordinance again,” Huseman said, adding the officials have opened a “can of worms” by passing such a comprehensive smoking ban without any exemptions.

Huseman said the Moose Lodge has told him they will no longer be making donations to the Police Department or the town. He said the American Legion, where he is a member, has asked him to carry a message to the council that they too are “very upset.”

Both private clubs are within town limits and must abide by the ban. The VFW post, just down the street from the Legion hall, is in unincorporated Lake County and therefore does not have to comply.

“With the Legion, what do we do if they tell us we can’t use their land anymore,” he asked. Larger town functions are conducted on the Legion’s property.

“That’s what I’m concerned about,” Huseman said.

Since the ban does not go into effect until January, Huseman said he was hopeful officials would discuss possible exemptions while there is still time.

“I would still like to sit down and talk exemptions,” Huseman said.

Council president Phillip Kuiper said he has always been open to discussion, but some of the organizations complaining now did not do so before the measure was passed. The Moose Lodge sent a letter to the town after the ordinance was approved.

No motions on the clean air ordinance were made and no action was taken.

Following the meeting police chief John Shelhart said he has not heard directly from the Moose that they plan to discontinue assistance they offer the police department.

“They have always been very supportive of the police department,” he said.

source: Associated Press

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