Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

January 21, 2014

Smoking bans at parks being explored

Hunter taking over as president

Batesville Parks and Recreation Board members began their Jan. 15 meeting by electing a new president.

Bob Fitzpatrick, who has served in that position for a number of years, said he wanted to step down from that leadership post, even though he will continue to serve on the board.

Tim Hunter was elected president, and Dr. Ed Negovetich was chosen as vice president.

In December, members voted to present an ordinance to city council members regarding a smoking ban at various areas in Batesville parks. It was presented at the Jan. 13 council meeting, but “there were some reservations on how it was going to be enforced,” Mayor Rick Fledderman pointed out.

Parks Commissioner Mike Baumer said he e-mailed 600-700 Indiana Park and Recreation Association members. “My questions to them were, ‘Do you have an ordinance in place?’ and ‘Who polices it?’”

He went through about 50 e-mails recently, and from the responses so far, “some facilities have no-smoking in buildings. One had park police .... but not one person that responded ever had a call to police” asking them to enforce the non-smoking ordinance.

The commissioner hopes to hear back from more members and will gather the information and present it at an upcoming meeting.

Baumer also announced, “The big thing I want to get done is to get some nets or some kind of protection (from stray balls) at the baseball fields .... One option that I’m looking at is shelters” that could be placed over every bleacher. They would cost $32,000, but they have a 20-year warranty. “Nets won’t last that long, and they’re $26,000 with us installing all of them. The buildings would also provide shade.

“I turned in a grant request to the Rising Sun Regional Foundation and will know by the end of March if we receive it.”

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