Pelham considering ban on smoking in public places

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Pelham soon could begin considering a citywide ban on smoking in public places, Mayor Don Murphy announced during an Oct. 18 Pelham City Council meeting.

During his comments to the council, Murphy said he would like to see the city “go 100 percent smokeless.”

“Everything I am reading, and everything I have read in the past year talks about how bad second-hand smoke is for everyone,” Murphy said. “I think it’s time we take a stand on this.”

Murphy said he planned to schedule a public hearing at the Pelham Civic Complex within the next few weeks to allow Pelham residents and business owners to address the council on the matter.

Although Murphy had not yet set a date or time for the public hearing, he said it likely will be before the end of October. The city will publicize the event once a date is set.

“(The public hearing) will be for restaurant owners and anyone else in the city of Pelham that wants to come speak to us about this,” Murphy said.

Murphy’s comments came three days before the Alabaster City Council was scheduled to hold its second public hearing on a public smoking ban in its city.

In other business, the council:

– Unanimously passed the city’s fiscal year 2011 general fund capital improvements and construction projects budget.

The city will fund no general budget capital projects during the upcoming year, after the council voted to strike a proposed $500,000 “special project” line item listed on the general fund capital improvement budget.

The council did not vote on the 2011 Pelham Sewer Department capital improvement budget, which was tabled during the Oct. 4 meeting. The proposed sewer capital improvement budget includes a total of $2.1 million in upgrades to sewer lines on Shelby County highways 35 and 33 and Alabama 119.

– Voted unanimously to allow Alabama Power to begin billing the city for electrical service to a street light at 24 Oak Ridge Lane. The council also voted unanimously to allow the company to install a street light on Aaron Road and begin billing the city for electrical service to it.

– Voted unanimously to allow Verizon Wireless to modify equipment on existing cell phone towers at 2000 Bearden Road and 5050 Beabout Drive. The modifications will allow the company to prepare to switch to 4G service in 2011.

– Heard from Dick Paxton, a member of the Pelham Senior Center. Center members recently defeated members of the Alabaster Senior Center in a Wii bowling tournament at the Alabaster center.

“I think they were a little over confident that they were going to beat our pants off,” Paxton said with a laugh. “But the final score was 1107 to 973. We beat them by 134 pins.”