Rome City Commissioners are poised to adopt a smoking and vaping ban Monday night and a line-up of supporters are scheduled to speak before the vote.
The ordinance tightening outdoor restrictions in the downtown district is a pared-down version of the proposal brought to the board last year by Breatheasy Rome, a coalition of local healthcare advocates.
Twelve people already have signed up to speak during the public comment period. They include Harbin Clinic CEO Kenna Stock, Redmond Regional Medical Center CEO John Quinlivan and David Early, a vice president at Floyd Medical Center.
Under the ordinance on the table Monday, smoking and vaping would be prohibited on all public property along Broad Street — including in sidewalk cafes — and for a block deep on the side streets. The Town Green, parking decks and Bridgepoint Plaza also would be part of the prohibited area.
Some commissioners indicated mild concerns during a discussion before a first reading Jan. 28, and the issue has generated furious debate on social media sites. However, few have made public objections.
“We’re not going to tell people where they can smoke, only where they can’t. And the onus is on the city to get signage up,” said Commissioner Craig McDaniel, who chairs the public safety committee that spent several months taking input on the proposal.
Commissioners caucus at 5 p.m. and start their regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall, 601 Broad St. Both sessions are public.
During the caucus, board members will hear a presentation on the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College. The commission plans to issue about $4 million in bonds to build six covered courts at the facility off the Armuchee Connector.
Bids were accepted through Dec. 21 for a consultant and a notice on the joint city-county website states that BM&K Construction and Engineering was tapped as the construction management firm.