By Shereen Siewert
WAUSAU — Smokers can still light up at city parks, after city leaders this week declined to vote on a potential smoking ban being floated by parks officials.
Smoking is already prohibited on The 400 Block during some events, including the popular Concerts on the Square Wednesday night concert series. But some members of the city’s parks and recreation committee, citing concerns over second-hand smoke and littering, are still hoping to ban smoking altogether in city parks.
At a meeting this week, committee members debated the issue, but ultimately opted to obtain additional input and research before passing any resolution. If such a ban would pass through the committee, the proposal would be subject to full council approval before taking effect.
Committee members also voted to make permanent a time restriction on alcohol at The 400 Block put in place last year to curb problem drinking. Those restrictions, which limit alcohol use on the block to between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m., have been highly effective in combating what once was a significant downtown problem, police said.
The time restrictions next go to the city’s public health and safety committee before being brought before the full council for final approval.
A move to extend the alcohol ban to other city parks was not successful.