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Hamburg mulls park smoking ban

There were no objections Monday night to a proposal to ban smoking from Hamburg village parks and playgrounds.

Anthony Billoni, coordinator of the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition, said studies show the public overwhelmingly supports banning smoking from playgrounds and parks.

"Smoking just doesn't fit in," he said during a public hearing on the proposed local law.

The coalition will supply free signs and educational material for the village.

"I think this will help the community in many ways," said Mayor Thomas Moses.

"You are telling your people that smoking and healthy lifestyle don't mix," Billoni said.

Hamburg would join Orchard Park, Alden, Lancaster, Kenmore, the Town of Tonawanda and Wilson in proclaiming its parks smoke-free, and Erie County is urging its park patrons to refrain from smoking in county parks. The board plans to vote on the ban at its next meeting.

The Village Board also conducted a public hearing on regulations permitting sidewalk cafes and outdoor dining. No one spoke in favor of the local law, but Damon Ayer, the proprietor of Murphy's Main Street Station, had questions about the need for the law and how much the permit fee would be.

Village Attorney Edward Murphy said that while the proposed legislation would allow a fee, the village was not instituting one. He said the village is required to maintain the right of way, and the legislation shows it is doing that.

The mayor said the board would vote on the legislation at a future meeting.

The board also appointed Anthony M. Caber as a new police officer. Caber was sworn in by his father, Farnham Mayor Terry Caber. The salary for the position is $54,783, and the position is probationary for 18 months.

e-mail: bobrien@buffnews.com

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