Come the new year, smoking will not be permitted in or near Roseboro’s municipal buildings nor in the town’s vehicles per a smoke-free ordinance that was officially adopted by a unanimous vote from town commissioners during their recent town hall meeting.
After a few months of work on the ordinance, and following revisions made by commissioners and town attorney Billie L. Poole of Holland, of Poole, Holland & Sanderson, the amendment to the town’s ordinance regulating smoking in municipal buildings and vehicles and on all town grounds, Chapter 20, nuisances, article III, was ready to be given a final look by town commissioners Tuesday night and officially voted on.
In presenting the final version of the ordinance to the rest of the town board, Commissioner Roland Hall reminded the others at the table that Sampson County recently adopted its own smoke-free ordinance, noting that county commissioners worked on theirs for nearly a year and encountered many of the same hurdles that Roseboro commissioners faced as they drafted on for the town.
According to the town’s new ordinance, “it shall be unlawful for any person to smoke in any building or facility or portion of a building or facility or within fifty feet of any enclosed area, now or hereafter owned, leased, operated, occupied, managed, or controlled by the Town of Roseboro.”
Additionally, the new law reads that “it shall be unlawful for any person to smoke in any vehicle now or hereafter owned or leased or used by the Town of Roseboro.”
The inclusion of vehicles is where Roseboro’s and the county’s ordinances most differ.
According to the county’s ordinance, smoking will be prohibited “in any vehicle owned, leased, or controlled by the county, with the exception that smoking and the use of tobacco products is permissible in individually assigned vehicles when the only person in the vehicle is the person to whom the vehicle has been assigned,” namely patrol cars.
Hall made a motion to approve and adopt the town’s new ordinance with the understanding that Roseboro’s sheriff’s deputies would be exempt from the town’s ordinance and would abide by the county’s since the town does not own the deputies’ patrol cars.
Still, Roseboro’s Sgt. Ed Vann expressed his support of the town’s ordinance and shared with the town board that to his knowledge none of the four officers assigned to Roseboro would be affected by the town’s ordinance even if it applied to them.
However, as was pointed out during Roseboro’s November town hall meeting, the new smoke-free ordinance will affect others in town, namely persons employed with the town’s public works division, fire department, and town hall.
To implement the new law, the ordinance calls for town officials to “post signs at locations and intervals reasonably calculated to inform employees and members of the public of the smoking prohibition,” with the exception of “any vehicle used for undercover law enforcement operations.” Violators of the new law will be “punishable by a fine of fifty dollars.”
Following Hall’s motion, town commissioners unanimously approved and adopted the ordinance which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.
Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.