West Pelzer passes smoking ban ordinance

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Includes E-cigs

By Stan Welch

West Pelzer Town Council gave first reading to an ordinance Monday night that will ban smoking in any workplace in the town limits. The ban also includes the electronic cigarette substitutes, or e-cigs. Smoking outdoors within ten feet of an entrance to a workplace, or the intake of a ventilation system, is also prohibited.

Violations of the ordinance call for a fine of up to one hundred dollars, and apply to both the smoker and the owner of the workplace for failing to enforce the ban. A business owner can also lose the permit or license needed to operate said business.

Murphy expressed several concerns about the ordinance, which was provided by representatives of the United Way, who have assisted seven counties and fifty municipalities in enacting such a ban. Murphy’s main point was that there is no real enforcement mechanism. “How do you force the payment of the fine, which seems rather exorbitant. If there is no penalty for refusal to pay, why would someone do so?”

Following some further discussion, the Council gave unanimous approval to the ordinance and agreed to read it more thoroughly prior to second reading next month.

The Council also unanimously approved a resolution expressing their willingness to provide police services to the Town of Pelzer, if Pelzer agrees that it wants such services. If the Pelzer Town Council agrees, negotiations concerning the level and costs of such services will follow.

A proposed ordinance to allow for town residents to keep chickens will require some modifications before Council votes on it. The ordinance was tabled after Murphy again raised several legal issues, such as the paltry fee for the permit, and the liability incurred by the three member volunteer coop inspection crew.

Following a spirited discussion of the proposed installation of the flag pole in Chapman’s Park, Councilman Blake Sanders moved to place it exactly twelve inches inside the wall, in the precise center. The vote was four to one, with Councilman Jimmy Jeanes opposed.

Councilman Johnny Rogers gave a report on the first meeting of the West Pelzer Crime Watch, which attracted seventeen participants. Rogers stressed that residents calling the police about something unusual or suspicious, but not involving an emergency situation, should instead call 260-4444.

Notice of future meetings will be included on residents’ water bills and in The Journal.