Smoking ban in the works for Caledonia skate park

August 5, 2009 10:53:00 AM



CALEDONIA -- After Leslie Webber told the Caledonia Board of Aldermen about some good news for the town Tuesday, she had a recommendation to make.  


"I''m very proud to say," she began, the town of Caledonia had won the Mississippi Municipal League''s 2009 Municipal Excellence Award for public safety for a population of under 10,000. Webber, finance and planning manager at Weyerhaueser and chair of the town''s skate park committee, had driven to Biloxi to accept the award July 15. 


The plaque, with its proclamation on a piece of translucent glass, was placed in the middle of the table around which aldermen and Mayor George Gerhart sat. The town received the award because of its efforts to give skateboarders a place to ride without interfering with traffic: a skate park. 


The skate park will reside on 7,500 square feet in Ola J. Pickett Park in the town. It will feature two quarter pipes, two skate benches and three rails, among other things, Webber said. 


The grand opening will occur on the morning of Aug. 22, Webber said. She asked town officials to attend.  


In preparation for the grand opening, she recommended the board consider establishing a smoking ban at Ola J. Pickett Park, after three of her son Christopher''s friends suffered asthma attacks at the park.  


Christopher had already designed a sign stating, "Don''t smoke. It''s a joke." He held it up for all to see at the meeting. 


The board passed a resolution for attorney Jeff Smith to draw up an ordinance to ban smoking at the park. The ordinance could allow law enforcement officials to impose fines on repeat offenders. 


In other business, the board: 


  • Heard from Bro. James Godsey with the Full Gospel Worship Center, located between Vernon, Ala., and Fayette, Ala., about the organization''s desire to rent the Presbyterian church on Main Street in Caledonia. The board passed a resolution to allow the organization to rent it for a year at the cost of $125 a month. The organization will pay utilities and cut the property''s grass. 


  • Passed a resolution to give a raise to employees of the town''s water department, excluding manager Benny Coleman, who brought up the subject before the board. 


  • Passed a resolution to allow Samuel Lance Luckey to serve in the town marshals department. He will receive no monetary compensation.  


  • Passed a resolution to allow the town marshal''s department to establish service for two cellular phones at the cost of $25 per month per phone.  


  • Failed to pass a resolution to buy boots for the town marshal''s department. 


  • Tabled requests from the town marshal''s department for a Taser and two Smith & Wesson M&P15 semiautomatic rifles. 


  • Discussed personnel matters in executive session.