Smokers who want to light up at Lakeview Park will have to look elsewhere.
Lakeview is the state’s first and so far only smoke-free public park, officials with the Franklin County Health Department and Fiscal Court said Monday as new no smoking signs were unveiled throughout the park.
Visitors will be reminded of the policy at the park’s entrance, golf course, soccer and baseball fields, and other spots around Lakeview.
About 12 no smoking signs, produced locally by Abracadabra Printing, dot the park, and a phone number to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is posted on them to report violations.
The smoking ban at Lakeview comes months after Fiscal Court barred smoking in public buildings in May.
Judge-Executive Ted Collins said he struggled for years on whether to bar smoking in Franklin County, but rising health care costs and concerns voiced by advocacy groups caused him to rethink his position on the matter.
Collins sits on the health department board with Franklin County Public Health Director Paula Alexander, and the subject of smoking has been raised a number of times during conversation there, he said.
“(Lakeview Park) is a good place to come out, exercise, play golf, walk, go to ball games, and you’ll be able to sit in the bleachers without somebody sitting either in front of you or behind you smoking,” Collins said.
Judy Mattingly, coordinator of the Franklin County Health Department’s Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships, said, “All of these ordinances are really meant to be self-enforcing around the nation, where citizens can feel empowered to say, ‘Did you see the sign?’
“And then of course (Deputy Judge-Executive Jennifer Wilson) has been working with the security guard also here at Lakeview Park so that he will be empowered to ask visitors to please extinguish smoking materials.”
The signs were paid for through grants from the National Association of County and City Health Officials and the University of Kentucky Rural Smoke Free Project, Mattingly said.
MAPP started in 2008, and making Lakeview Park smoke-free was part of the organization’s action plan developed in Sept. 2011.