Coatesville considers passing smoking ban in city parks

Young Lungs at Play initiates effort to protect kids from secondhand smoke

By Kyle CarrozzaStaff Writer, The Times


Jaclyn Gleber of ChesPenn Dental asks the Coatesville City Council to participate in Young Lungs at Play, during Monday’s meeting.

COATESVILLE – City council approved the first reading of an ordinance that would ban the smoking of all tobacco products in public parks at Monday night’s meeting.

Proposed to be coupled with a $250 fine for violation, council listened to concerns from Mike Barnard of ChesPenn Health, Lula Defersha of the Coatesville Youth Initiative, and Jaclyn Gleber of ChesPenn Dental as part of the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Young Lungs at Play program.

Gleber said that seeing adults smoking sets an unsightly example for children, and affects their safety.

Defersha said that Young Lungs at Play works with the CYI’s park beautification programs and has worked in other communities.

Barnard said that a study at Penn State showed that the university spent $150,000 removing all cigarette butts from its campus. he also said that it complicates asthma and can contribute to sudden infant death syndrome.

“I don’t think parents—whether they smoke or not—want their kids exposed to that,” he said.

In other city news, IT consultant Brett Witten, who has worked with Paul Evans of the Coatesville Housing Association, gave council information about discrepancies in the city’s solid waste billing list.

Witten said that there were 159 trash totes between 134 addresses with no records at Burkheimer tax collection. He said that there were 524 instances where mailing addresses on file did not match Burkheimer or county records. He will continue his pro bono work to clean up the city’s system.

In another possible contribution to the city’s budget, Interim City Manager Michael O’Rourke presented a plan to cover the expenses of installing handicap parking signs. The plan would charge a total of $400 to residents for the installation of a new handicap parking sign. People with existing signs would have to pay $50 renewal fees as well as a $75 escrow cost for removing the sign once it is no longer needed.

To further clean up the city’s budget, the Coateville Housing Authority’s Joseph Leofski said that rental fee records should be cleaned up in a similar style to the solid waste fees. He also pointed out that there are various nonprofit organizations that may not pay taxes renting to residents who may not pay income tax.

Council appointed committees and liasons to work with city departments to open up communications on Monday night. The finance department will work with Ed Simpson and Bill Shaw; the police department will work with Ed Simpson; administration will work with Bill Shaw; the fire department will work with Joe Hamrick; the codes and public works departments will both work with Marie Lawson and Arvilla Hunt; and Council President Linda Lavender-Norris will float among departments.

Dave DeSimone of the Coatesville Housing Association thanked council for their efforts at transparency and cooperation. He said that new council members have worked with residents and each other.

“I see a different attitude now. I see a group working together,” he said.

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