City Council expected to pass smoking ordinance

January 5, 2010 9:30:00 AM

Kristin Mamrack -


The Columbus City Council tonight is expected to issue final approval of a citywide smoking ordinance. 


The ordinance, which largely is modeled after a Tennessee state law, bans smoking in "all enclosed public places," including restaurants, but allows smoking in "age-restricted venues" -- or bars, restaurants and other establishments which only allow people age 21 or older to enter -- and "private clubs," which restrict access to the general public. 


Additionally, the ordinance allows businesses with three or fewer employees to designate enclosed smoking rooms, inaccessible to the general public, and provides exemptions for "non-enclosed areas of public places, including, open-air patios, porches or decks." 


If approved, the ordinance will take effect immediately. 


The council also is scheduled to discuss funding for a proposal to renovate neighborhood parks. 


During an earlier city-county intergovernmental relations committee meeting, Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Authority Executive Director Roger Short presented a $1.6 million plan for upgrading and improving neighborhood parks in the city and county. 


The county supervisors earlier pledged $850,000 toward the plan and the council tonight will discuss the city''s share of the funding.