Rochester City Council expands smoking, drinking bans - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rochester City Council expands smoking, drinking bans

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Monday the Rochester City Council took on the issues of smoking and drinking in the city.

And as a result of the meeting, there are now a few more places the two activities are banned.

The City Council approved a request to create a smoke free zone around the Rochester Public Library, and in the process also banned e-cigarettes in locations where smoking is already banned.

The new no smoking zone extends around the library but not the parking ramp on the block.

Library officials requested the zone because of the high volume of children and Mayo Clinic patients that use the library.

The law also expands the definition of smoking to include e-cigarettes, personal vaporizers and electronic nicotine delivery systems.

Those devices will also be banned in medical zones, in bus shelters and on Peace Plaza -- where smoking was already banned.

The council also added Central Park to the list of Rochester parks where drinking alcohol is banned.

Without a permit, alcohol in containers larger than two gallons is banned at all city parks, and already banned completely at Mayo Park and Foster-Arend.

Local park users had raised concerns to the council about behavior by those drinking in Central Park.

Alcohol will now only be allowed in the park if the park board issues a specific permit.

Monday was also the first official meeting for Ward 5 Representative Mark Hickey.

He took the Oath of Office at the start of the meeting.

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