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Brasher officials consider no-smoking policy for parks

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BRASHER FALLS — Brasher officials are considering a request from the county’s tobacco coordinator to place no-smoking signs at recreation areas and parks.

Councilman William D. Demo, the town’s representative to the Brasher-Stockholm Recreation Commission, said officials received a presentation from Benjamin R. Todd, program coordinator for the St. Lawrence County Tobacco Free Community Partnership.

Mr. Todd suggested the commission consider implementing a smoke- and tobacco-free policy for its recreation facilities, Mr. Demo told town board members last week. “Right now inside the arena it’s tobacco-free,” he said.

Mr. Todd has suggested that policy also include the adjacent ball field, a picnic area near the river and a playground behind the arena, Mr. Demo said.

“The idea is it’s difficult sometimes to police this, but if we put signs up, it reminds people. The signs inform people. Who knows, it may have saved a few lives,” he said.

“Is the county suggesting this?” Councilman Mark Peets asked.

“Yes, that’s why he was there,” Mr. Demo said.

The board was asked to approve a resolution declaring the town’s recreation facilities as smoke- and tobacco-free. However, since the Tri-Town Community Center is owned jointly by the towns of Brasher and Stockholm, members of the Stockholm Town Council also must pass a resolution. They did not address it during a meeting last week.

“The resolution has to be made by the town of Brasher and the town of Stockholm,” Mr. Demo said.

“Let’s submit this to the town of Stockholm and do it next month,” Brasher Supervisor M. James Dawson suggested.

If both towns pass the resolution, the St. Lawrence County Tobacco Free Community Partnership will provide signs to be placed in the town’s recreation areas.

With its approval, the town would be following in the footsteps of other communities that have passed similar resolutions.

Massena recreation officials passed a resolution in June 2011 declaring the recreation department’s facilities smoke- and tobacco-free after hearing a similar presentation from Mr. Todd.

Louisville Town Council members adopted a smoke-free policy at their meeting in August. They said the one selling point was that it was a policy and not a law.

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