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Published November 15, 2010, 09:46 PM

Devils Lake City Commission Discusses Smoking Ban

The majority of people in Devils Lake have voted to ban smoking in public places in the city. But the Devils Lake City Commission is supposed to have the final say. On Monday, the commission met and talked about the ban.

In this month's midterm election, an advisory vote was held for the city of Devils Lake asking residents whether or not they support a smoking ban for bars.

57 percent of the voters said yes, but at Monday's city commission meeting, some that voted no wanted their voices heard.

The commission chamber was packed as the Devils Lake City Commission heard from those who opposed the proposed smoking ban.

Many argued that a smoking ban would hurt revenue coming into Devils Lake.

Still, the advisory vote to ban smoking in public places in Devils Lake passed.

Some say the vote wasn't fair and argue bar owners should be able to run their establishments the way they want.

A Sports Bar in Devils Lake, Proz:End of the Line, has already gone smoke free and spent about $50,000 to accommodate those who do smoke, but with the way the smoking ordinance is written, the outside area will not be able to be used.

Devils Lake Mayor Dick Johnson says the input has been vital to having changes in the ordinance made. Johnson says those who oppose it can still get a referendum to delay the passing of the ban.

"Just by simply getting about 110-115 people on a petition that would force a vote of referendum to come to the people so we would have to have a special election in 120 days, so it would go back to the people again, but we've already been there," explained Johnson.

Johnson says the first reading of the proposed law will be on December 6th.

No action will be taken, as it is strictly an informational meeting, and city commissioners will discuss the ban.

The vote will be taken at the December 20th meeting.

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