New Carlisle City Council was presented a resolution banning smoking in City parks. The resolution was not approved by Council. The only members voting to approve the resolution were John Krabacher, Mike Lowrey and Bill McIntire.

There was one exception in the resolution – smoking would be allowed within 20 feet of the Smith Park Shelter House. “I don’t want to tell people who rent the shelter house that they can’t step outside to smoke,” said Bridge. “I don’t think you’re going to have a lot of citizens getting upset over this.”

But some Council members were upset.

Council members Ethan Reynolds and William Lindsey expressed concerns about the legality of the resolution and the infringement on individual liberties.

“I can’t stand the smell of cigarette smoke,” said Reynolds, “but smokers pay taxes, too. They helped build the parks. I don’t think we can tell them that they can’t smoke in the park.”

“Cigarettes are not illegal,” said Council member Rick Lowrey who said he quit smoking about 16 years ago. “Cigarettes are only second to gasoline in tax revenue. Those taxes helped build these parks.”

Lowrey said that if someone was smoking near him and it bothered him, it is his obligation to move.

Police Administrator Sgt. Ralph Underwood announced that Deputy Jeff Boswell will be soon completing his training and will be added to the New Carlisle patrol schedule. He expected Boswell to be on the streets in April. “This will bring New Carlisle back to four full-time deputies as was promised in the levy campaign,” he said.

Bridge also announced that the City’s new police cruiser has been purchased and lettered. It is now in the process of having the light bar and push bar installed. He said he expects delivery the first week of April. Then the radio and computer will be installed and it will be on the streets.

Bridge also said that he has applied for a Local Government Safety Capital Grant Program grant for $33,000 for another new police cruiser. He said the City’s investment would only be about $10,000.  “If we get the grant, I will strongly recommend that Council approve the expenditure,” said Bridge. “We’ll be able to get a brand new cruiser for about $10,000.”

Fire Chief Steve Trusty announced that the Department has received a donation of 100 smoke detectors. He said that they will be given to New Carlisle residents who request one. “Fire department personnel will install the detectors and test them for the residents,” he said.

Following the regular meeting, Council held their annual town hall meeting in which council members and City management introduced themselves and described their duties. About two dozen residents took advantage of the opportunity to learn more about their City government.

The next meeting of the New Carlisle City Council will be Monday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the Smith Park Shelter House. The public is invited to attend.

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