Columbiana holds off on smoking ban

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 8, 2005

The Columbiana City Council gave the public an opportunity to speak out on a &8220;Smoke Free Columbiana&8221; ordinance recently but took no action.

At the same time, the council had introduced a new lodging tax ordinance and a business license schedule that could come up for a vote on Nov. 15.

Representing the Merchants and Professionals Association of Columbiana at the council’s regular Nov. 1 meeting was Dr. Stancil Handley.

He pointed out that penalties are stiffer for merchants than the actual offenders of a proposed smoking ordinance.

He said a 15-foot ban on smoking outside buildings reaches to parking spaces.

&8220;We adamantly oppose this ordinance being proposed,&8221; he said.

Handley serves as vice president of the Merchants and Professionals Association, which boasts 52 members.

Councilmember Tom Seale told the crowd if a smoking ordinance was passed by the city, it would not look like the one presented at the public hearing.

Mayor Allan Lowe said, &8220;I can’t support this ordinance in its current form because it gives (city government) too much power.&8221;

In another matter, the council heard the introduction of a 3 percent lodging tax that could come up for a vote on Nov. 15 and the introduction of a new business license schedule that could also come up for a vote on Nov. 15.

Examples of changes in the 27-page ordinance include an air condition/heating and refrigeration license would go from $50 to $100. The license for restaurants, cafes and lunch stands seating more than 25 people would change from $150 to be based on gross receipts.

The council approved the employment of Sasha Lilly as a patrolman 1 at Pay Grade 10, Step 3. And on a 4-1 vote with Councilmember Danny Kelley opposed, the council approved a video surveillance system to be installed in the Police Department and City Hall including the courtroom at a cost of $7,453