Final reading of smoking ordinance up for approval

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Christopher Sardelli
After months of discussion, the fate of a proposed county-wide smoking ordinance will be revealed at Lancaster County Council’s Monday meeting, Nov. 26.
If council approves it , the ordinance would prohibit smoking in enclosed public spaces throughout the county, including restaurants, bars, retail stores, libraries and public areas of businesses.
Exceptions to the ban include private homes, retail tobacco stores and private clubs.
Final reading of the ordinance has been on hold since September, pending review by the county’s Health and Wellness Commission. The commission has revised its penalties for violators and has also clarified language about enforcement.
Also on the agenda, council will discuss an amendment to the county’s fiscal year 2012-13 budget. In a memo to council, County Administrator Steve Willis said the adjustment is due to unexpected expenses in several county departments.
Requested funds include $26,000 for the fire service, $280,000 for Public Works, $36,000 for the planning department, $45,000 for information technology and $15,000 for the detention center, among other expenses.
Council members are also expected to debate the financial ramifications of a tax relief request from L&C Railroad and will also hear an update about the abandonment of a joint E-911 center plan.
Council will also hear a motion to table several outstanding ordinances that have been held throughout the year.
These include an ordinance to revise the county’s B-3 commercial zoning definitions, as well as an ordinance to define non-profit animal shelters. Both are expected to return to council in 2013.
There will be several other ordinance readings at the meeting as well, including second readings of two ordinances related to the L&C Railroad, an amendment to the county’s comprehensive plan and the rezoning of the Providence Estates subdivision in Indian Land.
There will also be two public hearings at the meeting, including one for the budget amendment and another for a fee-in-lieu of tax incentive agreement between the county and a prospective company.
Council will meet in closed session before the meeting at 5:30 p.m. to discuss an economic development legal briefing. The session will continue after the meeting if needed.
Regular council meetings are held on the second and fourth Mondays each month at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers at the Lancaster County Administration Building.
Council meetings are open to the public. Council agenda packets are available online at www.mylancastersc.org by looking under the Government Tab and then clicking Agendas and Minutes.

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli  at (803) 416-8416