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Designated smoking areas listed
By Rick Longley
Orland Press Register
Smokers will have designated areas to smoke in Orland's city parks.
The City Council approved a list of locations Monday recommended by the Orland Parks and Recreation Commission in the city's three main parks.
This comes after the council approved a smoking ban in the parks in February with the provision designated smoking areas be allowed.
Cigarette butt receptacles will be placed in the designated areas and signs placed at the park entrances indicating smoking is only permitted in specific locations only.
Signs also will be put up at the smoking areas, officials said.
Locations where smoking will be allowed include the area north of the horseshoe pits in Vinsonhaler Park, west of the parking lot across from Lollipop Land and a second spot near the trash cans along the edge of the north parking lot.
However, a sign will go up there noting smoking is not allowed during youth sporting events in that location, City Manager Peter Carr said, since soccer games are played there from time to time.
Lely Park will permit smoking next to the west parking lot to the west of the tot path and on the dirt/gravel road parking area between the Orland Recreation Center and the east softball field.
In Library Park, a smoking area will be set up on the south exterior of the restrooms away from their entrances.
No smoking will be allowed in Spence Park behind the Orland Memorial Hall or in the Welcome to Orland Centennial Park off Walker Street since they are small.
Playgrounds, recreational fields and picnic areas will still be smoke free, city officials said.
Carr said parks commissioners and Recreation Director Joe Fenske joined city staff and smoking-regulation advocates on a tour of the parks to look for possible smoking locations.
Benches may or may not be placed next to the cigarette butt receptacles, he said.
The approval brought praise from smoker Brandy Branzelle.
"I think it's a great idea," Branzelle said. "I appreciate the work and effort the commission put into this."
However, she asked the council to look into the smoking ban as it relates to businesses in the future since Branzelle believes two businesses are negatively affected by the ban — that prohibits smoking within 20 feet of business entryways.
Vice Mayor Charles Gee asked if putting the receptacles next to the Library Park restrooms was a good idea.
"If they just use the receptacle, we are far ahead," Public Works Director Jere Schmitke said.
He noted often smokers use the toilets to dispose of their butts and put them on the grass as well.
Councilman Dennis Hoffman said signs are needed to show smoking is allowed in a specific area only — otherwise it sends "mixed messages" to the public.
"Those who break the rules will break the rules," Hoffman said, "but we need to be concise about it."
Carr said he is not opposed to the signs but he did not want a fenced area for the smoking.
Mayor Wade Elliott said signs could make it clear this "is where you smoke."
Carr showed examples of what the receptacles are like and how they come apart for cleaning and so on.
He also presented a picture of a bench and similar receptacle in a Yuba County park as a real example.
On Tuesday, Carr said the receptacles were ordered and should be up in the next 30 days along with the signs.
Cost is estimated between $900 and $3,000 depending on the price of benches and signs used. But a Glenn County grant may pay for some of the signs, he said.