LEWISTON — The city may ban smoking at all city parks and recreational facilities, expanding on an earlier proposal to prohibit smoking at a popular downtown park.

Councilors previously discussed banning smoking at Dufresne Plaza, but officials wanted to expand it to all city parks, City Administrator Ed Barrett said during a City Council workshop Tuesday.  Others would like to see the ban go even further, one councilor said.

David Dubord, who co-owns a building at 86 Lisbon St., originally brought the issue of smoking at Dufresne Plaza to city officials. He described the plaza as a thoroughfare in downtown Lewiston for people walking to or from the courts, work and/or surrounding restaurants.

“It’s become a smoking hangout in some respects,” he told the council Tuesday. “It’s difficult to get through the plaza without going through secondhand smoke.”

He said the ground is often littered with cigarette butts, adding, “I don’t think we’re putting our best foot forward” with that image in such a public location. Dumond said he also supports the broader ban for all city parks.

Councilors were told at the workshop that city ordinances would have to be updated to reflect the particular rules and fines for violations.

Barrett suggested the city match the fine system to one recently passed by the council that prohibits smoking in the St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center zone. It’s the only restriction on smoking in a public right of way, Barrett said. The fine scale, he said, is $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense and $300 for a third.

Councilor Alicia Rea said she’s heard from constituents, including many business owners, who would like the smoking ban extended to the downtown Lisbon Street business area.

Barrett said a larger ban downtown should be a separate ordinance, with more clarity on the specific location.

The council will take a first reading of the expanded parks ordinance on Tuesday, Sept. 17.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: