Milford Considers Smoking Ban in Parks - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Milford Considers Smoking Ban in Parks

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MILFORD, Del. - The Milford City Council is considering a smoking ban on all parks on public land. The idea came out of the Community Affairs and Parks and Recreation Committee, following neighbor complaints over cleanliness and health hazards due to smoking. Milford Mayor Bryan Shupe said that the concerns center primarily around littering and second-hand smoke.

"They don't want their dogs to eat the butts," he said. "They don't want their kids to have second-hand smoke. So there's a myriad of reasons why some of the residents would like to see this happen."

The ban would apply to the six public parks. (Banneker, Bicentenntial, Marshall Pond, Marvel Square, Memorial Park South, Tony Silicato Memorial Park). Shupe said that limiting it to publicly-owned parks was reasonable.

"We don't have on the books anything that we're looking at now to ban it in the streets," he said. "Or to ban it on the sidewalks or property. But you know the parks are a place where people go for recreational activity. And we want to promote that active lifestyle."

This ordinance has many residents split on the issue. Bob Hudson of Milford smoked for close to 40 years before quitting. He said he disliked the cigarette butts and the smoke, but still he thought the action was over the top.

"Their taxes paid for this park as well as mine," he said of the smokers. "So if they like to smoke, then fine. Just pick up after yourself."

Meanwhile Tom Reed said the distinction between public and private land was important. He said that the city has the right to put up a ban on public parks for the greater good.

"It's a public park..." he said. "Probably it's a good idea to not have smoking in the park because cigarettes do have filters. And the filters are going to be lying around the ground."

The ordinance is now being debated in the Police Committee, which will discuss how such an ordinance would be enforced. Then it will be up to the city council, which Shupe predicts could see a vote as soon as December.

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