Holts Summit passes smoking ordinance

Holts Summit passes smoking ordinance

Aldermen voice frustrations with Jefferson City YMCA

April 13th, 2018 by Seth Wolfmeyer in Local News

The Holts Summit Municipal Center is located on South Summit Drive in Holts Summit.

Photo by Seth Wolfmeyer /Fulton Sun.

The Holts Summit Board of Alderman passed an ordinance restricting smoking in public areas during its meeting Thursday, establishing a potential $50-$250 fine for violations.

Before its final passing, the smoking ordinance faced some contention from residents since its first proposal several months ago, but City Administrator Rick Hess said he worked on the matter to make it appease both sides.

The ordinance bans smoking in any public building owned or operated by the city and in open areas within 25 feet of the entry to any government building. It also prohibits smoking within 15 feet of entries to buildings open to the public, except in outside dining areas where businesses allow smoking or if the entry is less than 50 feet from another public entry.

The ordinance gives businesses the ability to designate themselves as non-smoking, and the city will also create designated smoking areas in public parks.

Thursday's meeting also included a discussion on the Jefferson City YMCA's decision to not release Holts Summit from its service area.

City officials expressed frustration with the Jefferson City YMCA's decision to deny Holts Summit's request to be released to the Callaway County YMCA. The discussion came after Hess announced the Jefferson City YMCA's decision on Facebook, saying Holts Summit was "captive" to the organization because of money.

According to an email from the Jefferson City YMCA which Hess released, the organization voted to not release the Holts Summit area because it had "strong market penetration" in the area with a responsibility to continue to provide services and because it was interested in potential future opportunities. The Jefferson City YMCA also noted in the email it had given a proposed campaign goal and offered collaboration opportunities with the city.

Hess said Holts Summit's request to leave the service area was spurred by Jefferson City YMCA giving the city a fundraising goal of $850,000 to consider bringing a new facility, which he called an unreasonable amount.

"I don't think we have $850,000 to spare, and if we did there's other priorities in this town," Mayor Landon Oxley said.

Craig Lammer, chief executive officer of the Jefferson City YMCA, was unavailable for comment as of press time.

The aldermen voted to officially decline the offer from the Jefferson City YMCA on the fundraising goal.

The discussion is the latest of Holts Summit's frustration with the Jefferson City YMCA. Starting in 2012, Holts Summit was working with the Callaway YMCA to bring a facility to the city. The plan involved Callaway YMCA spending $475,000 to renovate and expand the Holts Summit Community Center.

Hess said the Jefferson City YMCA intervened those plans because Holts Summit was in it's service area, but did not give the same offer. The city has only grown more frustrated since, Hess added.

In other business, Mayor Oxley and Aldermen Sharon Schlueter and Thomas Durham were sworn in after being re-elected earlier this month. All three faced no competition in the April 3 election.