BLACKFOOT, Idaho - The city of Blackfoot has passed an ordinance that will prohibit smoking at parks, except for designated areas. The City Council made its decision March 4, 2014.
The city has only designated smoking areas in the parking lots of Jenson's Grove, Veteran's Memorial Park, the baseball complex and the soccer complex. Every other park is completely off limits to smokers. If people are caught violating the ordinance, the infraction will cost $100 plus court fees.
"As a grandmother I really appreciate not seeing other people smoke. Plus I just feel even though people say they will clean up their cigarette butts, you find the butts lying around a lot," said Sharon Case, Blackfoot resident.
"I have grandkids and great grandkids and do I think you should smoke directly around them? No. But if you are out in the open air I can see nothing wrong with it, and I'm not a smoker," said Carol Dorigatti, Blackfoot resident.
On Friday the Parks and Recreation Department started putting up signs to remind the public.
"We have tried to locate smoking areas in the parks where we have low traffic, so they are not in harms way with people coming through," said Parks Foreman Russ Goodwin.
The ordinance states that people will be allowed to smoke within the vicinity of the signs. It did not give an exact distance. For some locals that solution isn't good enough.
"Being out in the open air I don't see how that is a problem, but that is my opinion because I'm a smoker," said Bill Penoyer.
Blackfoot police Capt. Scott Gay said because it is so new, the ordinance is not being enforced.
"We are waiting for signage and trying to get some people to understand that the law even exists at this point," said Gay.
The Police Department will start to enforce the ban once all of the signs are up. It could be by the end of next week.
A group of high school students in Blackfoot came up with the idea and presented it to the city. The City Council unanimously voted for the ordinance.