Choctaw considers regulating tobacco, vapor and marijuana use in public spaces
During the July 16 regular City Council meeting Choctaw officials unanimously voted to adopt a new fee for driving around road barricades, while a proposed law change prohibiting the use of tobacco, vapor and marijuana on city property was tabled until August.
The Choctaw City Council voted to amend the city fee schedule for fiscal year 2019-20.
Officials passed an amended version of Resolution No. 19-20 adding a $500 fine for driving around barricades.
Officials say this was added to the city fee schedule as a result of the public continuing to drive around “road closed” barricades.
Officials say cars passing barricades have resulted in road repair complications and water rescues during flooding in recent years.
City Council opted to set the new fee at the maximum rate, $500.
“We’ve had some issues with people driving around barricades,” said city manager Ed Brown. “We wanted the fee to hurt so we could prevent that in the future.”
With a unanimous vote of City Council, that fee now matches transporting an open container, reckless driving, eluding a police officer and driving with a suspended/revoked license for the most costly traffic related first offense in the city.
A proposed new fee for smoking in public places was stricken from that resolution, while a separate resolution declaring municipal property as tobacco-free, vapor-free and marijuana-free was tabled until the first meeting of August.
The resolution was taken by sample resolutions provided by the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, but confusing language caused city leaders to delay any action.
At request of Ward 1 City Councilman Chad Williams, and agreement by other officials, the proposed ordinance change and accompanying new fee was tabled until at least the Aug. 6 meeting.
City staff intend to work with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department and TSET Healthy Living Program in order to gain access to additional funding never before utilized by the City of Choctaw.
“If we can get to the minimal level TSET should be able to help us with some funding,” said Brown. “This ordinance is meant to make it ‘no smoking’ on all municipal property indoor and outdoor.”
The language is expected to be modified to clarify that tobacco, vapor and marijuana use would be prohibited on all city property if approved by City Council.