City approves smoking, vaping ban

Okays final splash pad design

Sallisaw's Board of City Commissioners Monday night approved an administrative policy banning smoking and vaping in the workplace and also approved the final design for the splash pad.

Sallisaw City Manager Keith Skelton told commissioners prior city managers had issued directives when it came to smoking and vaping on city property, but it had never been formalized into a policy.

He said the intent of the policy is to promote a healthy workplace and create a policy to regulate use of smoking and vaping products by city employees while on city property. The policy adopts the Breath Easy regulations of the State of Oklahoma.

The policy says the use of lighted tobacco in any form is a public nuisance and dangerous to public health and is prohibited when possession is in any indoor workplace areas owned or operated by the City of Sallisaw. It applies to employees, customers and visitors while on city property.

The same applies to vaping products as well and includes prohibited use in any vehicle or equipment with an enclosed cab.

Skelton said the one exemption is smokeless tobacco, which is prohibited when more than one person is in the vehicle, unless both parties agree. He added that employees will be required to keep the vehicle clean and free of tobacco remnants on a daily basis.

Adopting the State of Oklahoma Breath Easy regulations means that state, county and city buildings are required to be smoke free and no smoking within 25 feet outside any entrance or exit.

Employees who violate the policy will be subject to disciplinary action.

Commissioners approved the final plans for the splash pad, which will be constructed at Jay Reynolds Park.

Skelton anticipated advertising for bids beginning Feb. 15 and opening those bids on March 11. He said the original timeline for completion was May, but it might be the end of May or early June.

Commissioner Philip Gay told Skelton the park needs new playground equipment, and mayor Ernie Martens asked about adding a handicap wheelchair swing. Skelton said he would look into adding those at a later date, telling Gay he had already considered new playground equipment.

Skelton estimated the splash pad would use 90 to 100 gallons of water per minute, or about 60,000 gallons a day. He said similar splash pads are usually open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

The estimated cost of the project is about $300,000 with $150,000 coming from the Sallisaw Youth and Recreation Fund and the remaining $150,000 coming through an Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department grant.

Skelton said he would amend the plans to include two more trash bins and four more benches to the park.

Following through on a discussion last month, commissioners approved repealing and striking from the original ordinance the Sallisaw Youth and Recreation Commission.

The Sallisaw Municipal Authority approved an operations agreement between the Authority and the Sallisaw Youth League for operations and consulting on the Sports Complex.

Skelton said he wanted emphasize that the Hotel/Motel tax is not directly tied to the Sports Complex and can be used for other projects, telling the commissioners a plan needs to be developed to utilize those funds.

Commissioners approved an ordinance that repealed certain sections of an ordinance and substituting new sections to adopt new international codes for buildings, electrical and mechanical operations. The ordinance also removes references to specific years.

The board approved an ordinance repealing a chapter that deals with the fire district/downtown district construction and replacing it with an ordinance that requires permits and consists of materials considered to be fire retardant and calls for inspections.

Sequoyah County Times

111 N. Oak
Sallisaw OK 74955