Griswold votes to ban smoking in town parks

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GRISWOLD — Griswold residents have voted to ban smoking in town parks.

On Tuesday night, residents voted 19-2 to pass a new town ordinance proposed by the Parks and Recreation Department, affecting seven public parks owned by the town.

Smoking at the parks won’t be eliminated entirely; during town events there would be designated areas for smoking around 100 feet away from the main area of the park.

Some Griswold residents spoke up before the vote, saying they’d prefer it banned altogether.

“Either it is or it isn’t, you know?” said Judy Webster. “If you need to take a walk somewhere for 5 or 10 minutes and do your smoking, then come back to the event.”

Stuart Norman Jr., vice chair of the Griswold Board of Education, attended the meeting on behalf of the board to ask if school grounds could be included in the ordinance.

“I was surprised to see that the school grounds, which have a tremendous amount of recreation activities was specifically excluded from this ordinance,” said Norman Jr.

The Board of Selectman discussed possibly amending the ordinance in the future to include school fields and recreational areas.

As passed, any individual who smokes in a public park would face a $50 fine. The ordinance takes effect in late August.