Cortland prohibits smoking in parks

CORTLAND — Saying they want to make sure people visiting the city’s parks are in a healthy environment, council Monday unanimously approved banning smoking in those recreation areas.

“We are legislating common sense to protect our children,” said council President Deidre Petrosky.

She said smoking will be prohibited at all city parks, but noted someone was more likely to be approached about the ban if they are standing in the open as opposed to sitting in a car in the parking lot.

The goal of the legislation, said Mayor Jim Woofter, is to protect the health of the public. Officials noted young children and pregnant women are often at the parks and are of the most concern for secondhand smoke.

“No Smoking” signs will be posted at various areas of parks, including Willow Park, which has basketball and tennis courts, playground equipment and baseball fields; Pearl Park, where there is a splash pad, soccer fields and playground; Rotary Park and Point Park, which has a gazebo and benches.

A person faces a citation if he or she refuses or fails to stop smoking immediately upon being asked to do so by police. Violators of the ordinance face a minor misdemeanor.

In other action, council:

• Set the annual spring cleanup for April 26-27. Residents can to place items at the curbside with their regular trash collection;

• Gave permission to police Chief Thomas Andrews to buy accessories, such as radios, and pay for installation up to $24,425 for a 2018 Ford police SUV;

• Agreed to buy of a fluoride meter from USA Blue Book not to exceed $2,560 to be used for lab testing of city water