Reedsburg sets public hearing to expand smoking ordinance, includes vaping ban in certain areas
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Reedsburg sets public hearing to expand smoking ordinance, includes vaping ban in certain areas

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After setting an internal policy banning vaping in all city buildings, Reedsburg is looking into possibly expanding its smoking ordinance to include banning vaping and smoking in certain public places.

At its Oct. 28 meeting, the Reedsburg Common Council unanimously approved a first reading and set a public hearing to review the ordinance before possible adoption after a second reading. The public hearing is at 7 p.m. Nov. 25 at city hall.

Reedsburg bans vaping in city buildings

The item also unanimously passed the ordinance committee meeting held prior to the council meeting. The item comes one month after the ordinance committee set an internal policy banning vaping in all city buildings and several reports of vaping related illness in the media in recent months.

City Administrator Tim Becker said more research was done into its smoking ordinance and it didn’t look like the state would have enough traction to include vaping in proposed legislation that would’ve banned it indoors in public places, but enough support to raise the minimum age limit on purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21.

“Having heard that it seems as though it’s going to be awhile before the state could do something,” Becker said.

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The city planned to wait on writing its own ordinance until the state legislature decided on its proposed legislation that would’ve expanded on its smoking ordinance passed in 2010.

If Reedsburg passes the ordinance, it would follow other state municipalities such as Appleton, Ashwaubenon, Beaver Dam, Madison and Milwaukee that have similar bans.

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Becker presented a draft ordinance, which was based on the states statute, and includes banning smoking and use of electronic cigarettes inside and outside of childcare centers, educational facilities, theaters, restaurants, retail establishments any public form of transportation.

Reedsburg’s current smoking ordinance follows state statue, which bans smoking in public places and places of employment and using tobacco products on and within 20 feet of premises owned by the School District of Reedsburg. Both those requirements would remain in the ordinance.

Exemptions listed in the draft include a private residence, designated outdoor areas located on the premises of a restaurant, tavern, private club or retail establishment and a room used by only one person in an assisted living facility at their residence. Anyone caught violating the ordinance could risk a citation, according to the document.

Other business

The council unanimously approved a second reading of airport minimum standards, which updates insurance requirements for the municipal airport. No one spoke at the public hearing held prior to the vote.

The council unanimously approved to acknowledge filing of the annual tax incremental district reports with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.

The council unanimously approved to appoint Kristina Rego to the Community Development Authority.

Follow Erica Dynes on Twitter @EDynes_CapNews or contact her at 608-393-5346.

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