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Courthouse campus goes smoke free

Monday, January 7, 2008

Many areas in the Wabash Valley have been designated as "No-Smoking" campuses, and the Clay County Courthouse has jumped on board.

The Clay County Commissioners unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance Monday morning which makes the courthouse void to smokers.

For many years, a policy had been in place prohibiting smoking inside the courthouse, but the new ordinance also bans smoking anywhere on the courthouse grounds.

"It is a nasty habit and we want to do what we can to help keep people who come to the courthouse healthy," Commissioners' President Charlie Brown said.

Smoking areas had been designated just outside the doors of the courthouse, but it did not always quell the issue of smoke getting inside the building.

"There are times, especially on windy days, when the smoke will come inside the building when the doors open," Brown said.

The ordinance also restricts smoking in any building in control of the Clay County Commissioners. Also, according to the ordinance, smoking areas can be designated at the Clay County Justice Center and Clay County Highway Garage by the commissioners.

There was a short discussion about designating the east parking lot, behind Advance AutoParts, as a smoking area for courthouse employees, but no action was taken.

"Essentially, anywhere off of the courthouse grounds is a smoking area," Commissioner Paul Sinders said.

The ordinance was created to be in coordination with the Clean Indoor Air Laws.

The commissioners will review the second reading of the ordinance at their monthly meeting on Monday, Feb. 4.

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