Smoking ban

Goshen City Council members are set to consider a smoking ban in public areas.

Discussion on a proposed ordinance that would prohibit smoking in most Goshen businesses will continue Tuesday night, but a vote on the matter is not expected until April.

Councilman Dave Puro will not be present at Tuesday’s meeting and has asked that the proposal be postponed until all seven council members are present to vote. The final vote will likely take place April 17.

The City Council voted 5-0 on March 6 to pass the ordinance on first reading after hearing arguments for and against the proposal. Councilmen Bill Bloss and Daniel Grimes were not present at that meeting to vote.

While the majority of residents at the meeting were in favor of the proposal, some bar owners and Goshen Chamber of Commerce president David Daugherty expressed concern that Goshen businesses could lose patrons if the ordinance was not adopted countywide.

Because of this concern, the City Council is expected to consider a resolution Tuesday that calls for Elkhart County Commissioners to enact a countywide smoking ban.

According to the resolution, “A clean-air ordinance covering all employers in Elkhart County will have minimal prejudicial economic impact on businesses located within the jurisdiction of the city.”

Last week, the Elkhart County Commissioners issued a statement saying that they do not plan to take any action on the issue until every community in the county has had a say in the matter.

According to their statement, the commissioners “were not in agreement” as to whether an ordinance should be adopted in the county. They said they will remain open to discussing the pros and cons of such an ordinance in the coming months.

Among the topics that the council expects to discuss Tuesday is whether private clubs such as those operated by the Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars should be exempt from the ordinance requirements.

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