Minturn Town Council shoots down smoking ban |

Minturn Town Council shoots down smoking ban

J.K. Perry

MINTURN – Minturn Town Council members rejected a smoking ban identical to Eagle County’s after several councilors said they had problems with some of the ban’s particulars.Instead, the town now relies on the Colorado smoking ban – which went into effect July 1 and is less strict than Eagle County’s ban – to curb smoking in town. On April 4, Minturn voters overwhelming agreed in favor of the Council adopting regulations prohibiting smoking in enclosed public places, including restaurants and bars.The ban councilors considered would have required smokers light up 25 feet from any public building entry, including windows and vents. State law requires just a 15-foot buffer.The 25-foot threshold from any entry, window or vent worried Councilwoman Kelly Brinkerhoff.”The way county law applies to Minturn, it would be putting smokers on other people’s property,” Brinkerhoff said.The only councilor to vote against rejecting the ban was Jerry Bumgarner. He disagreed with state law, which allows smoking in outdoor areas such as restaurant seating areas.”You will not be to go outside and have your dinner without somebody being able to smoke next to you,” Bumgarner said.Town Attorney Allen Christensen offered two caveats to relying on state law; Minturn wouldn’t collect all the fines from issued tickets and officers would be required to appear in Eagle County court rather than municipal court, he said.The Council might revisit a similar ordinance if it is again placed on a future meeting agenda.Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 748-2928 or, Colorado

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