TOWN OF ULSTER, N.Y. – Town Board members are being asked to add littering laws to the rules governing prohibited activities on municipal properties.
Residents Regis Obijiski and Vicki Lucarini made the request last week during a public hearing on prohibiting smoking.
“We…recommend adding a related littering enforcement component that considers discarding waste from these activities such as cigarette butts, vaping viles, wrappings as an additional violation,” Obijiski and Lucarini wrote.
Obijiski and Lucarini added that the smoking prohibition was needed.
“We support (the) proposal to ban the smoking of any plant-based products such as tobacco and marijuana and vaping derivatives of these and other chemical products on all town of Ulster properties,” they wrote.
“Vicki was a public health nurse who lead the implementation of the Clean Indoor Act in Dutchess County,” Obijiski and Lucarini wrote. “We believe that the town of Ulster is within its rights to control the primary use and secondary effects of smoking and vaping on town properties.”
Resident Laura Hartmann also asked the board to adopt the smoking ban.
“We’re all vulnerable to secondhand smoke, any kind of it, and I just think that our public places should be safe from them and our parks should be clean,” she said.
Board members said that provision involving littering would need to be considered as an additional law.
Under the smoking ban, use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices would be prohibited. Violations would be subject to criminal prosecution and carry penalties of imprisonment up to 15 days and/or $2,000 for each violation.
The resolution notes that state Clean Indoor Air Act provisions “effectively prohibits smoking and vaping in almost all public and private indoor workplaces as well as numerous specified outdoor areas.”
Properties covered under the law would be Town Hall, town Highway Department complex, Robert Post Park, Charles Rider Park, Orlando Street Ball Park, and town mini-parks.