The Richmond Register

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December 4, 2013

Board further explores smoking policy change at parks

RICHMOND — The Richmond Park Board again discussed changing the city parks’ smoking policy at its Tuesday board meeting.

The board did not take any action on the matter.

One question was whether to have designated nonsmoking zones, like around playgrounds and bleachers, or whether the parks should have a general smoking prohibition with a few designated smoking areas.

Parks and Recreation Director Erin Moore said she learned more about the issue at the recent Kentucky Recreation and Park Society Conference. One trend was to put up signs near areas where children play proclaiming “Young lungs at play” with a no-smoking symbol below it.

Moore was in favor of having smoking areas designated in the parks because “if you ban it all, people are still going to smoke,” she said.

She also noted it would be impossible for parks staff to police smoking in the parks, however it may be more feasible for park visitors to “self-police” by directing smokers to the designated area if they light up near a playground or while watching a Little League game.

Paradise Cove already has designated smoking areas, and smoking also is not allowed on the mini-golf course at Adventure Falls.

Board Chair Dan McBride asked Moore to keep looking into the issue, and said it would be discussed more at the January meeting.

In other business Tuesday:

• Paradise Cove ended its season with a $27,510 operating profit, according to Moore. The pool was open only 78 days because of the unusually cool and rainy summer. The water park had an attendance of 44,610 people.

Moorse also reported that a leak in the pool will have to fixed before it can be filled again in the spring. The parks and recreation staff also is looking into purchasing a replacement diving board at an estimated cost of $3,700.

Paradise Cove 2014 season pass sales began this week at $150. The price goes up to $175 after March 30.

• Moore discussed some 2014 price changes for use of city park facilities, however, the board did not approve any increases Tuesday. One was a $25 increase to reserve Shelter C at Lake Reba, which is the largest shelter near the lake. This would bring the reservation cost to $75.

Moore also suggested raising the price of swim lessons. The parks and recreation department will lose money at the current price, $45, next year because of the costs associated with the pool management company’s new contract.

Finally, Moore suggested adding military and group discounts to admission at Paradise Cove.

• The Richmond Parks & Recreation Department received the top facility award for the Lake Reba Universal Playground at the annual Kentucky Recreation and Park Society Conference. The universal playground opened in late 2012 and has a spongy surface and play equipment to accommodate children of all abilities.

Moore said Richmond was competing in the same award category as Louisville and other large Kentucky cities, so she was pleased the department received the award.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

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