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City tackles smoking, littering problems

Smoking and littering have been the hot topics of late in the City Council's Public Safety Committee, focusing mainly on Lutheran Social Services on Falconer Street.

The LSS campus went smoke-free last month, but many employees have been leaving the grounds to have a cigarette. Some throw their cigarette butts on neighboring property, upsetting residents.

Dr. Lillian Ney, Public Safety Committee chairwoman, said Monday that she, along with other city officials, recently met with LSS President and CEO Tom Holt to discuss the matter.

"It was actually reported that there has been a decrease in the number of folks that are smoking," she said. "Mr. Holt has assured us that . . . they are monitoring the situation and the litter."

Ney said increased signage also may be a solution.

"Some of the folks that have businesses that are smoke-free are considering putting up their own signs that say, 'Smoking not permitted in this building nor is permitted within 100 feet of this building.' The effectiveness of that is yet to be seen, but they feel it will be self-policing," she said.

Council Members Linda Albert and Michael Taylor, both members of the Parks and Recreation Commission, said signs also will be erected in city parks to tell visitors where smoking is prohibited.

Those signs, placed as part of the County Tobacco Coalition's "Young Lungs At Play" program, should be up by the end of July.

In another matter, the Council gave Deputy Fire Chief Lance Hedlund the go-ahead to solicit bids for a new ladder truck. Jamestown owns two ladder trucks, but Hedlund says both Ladder 2 and Ladder 1 are "over the hill."

"The Ladder 1 that we are currently operating is 16 years old. NFPA [National Fire Protection Association] guidelines suggest a 15-year life span for a first-service ladder truck. Since our other truck is over 40 years old, we're definitely within the time frame for replacing it," Hedlund said.

Hedlund said a new truck would cost between $800,000 and $900,000.

If the city would purchase a new truck, Ladder 1 would be updated, Hedlund said, and go into a backup role, while Ladder 2 would be sold at auction.

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