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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Leavenworth County Commission could make all properties smoke free

  • While people are prohibited from smoking inside buildings, no ban exists on smoking outdoors on property owned by Leavenworth County government.
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    • Other business

      In other business Monday, the Leavenworth County Commission:


      • Approved a temporary special use permit for an equestrian co...

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      Other business

      In other business Monday, the Leavenworth County Commission:



      • Approved a temporary special use permit for an equestrian competition scheduled for May 17 east of 222nd Street and Cantrell Road.



      • Approved vacating a right-of-way for Denholm Road. The mile-long right of way has been in place since 1869, but the road was never built.

  • While people are prohibited from smoking inside buildings, no ban exists on smoking outdoors on property owned by Leavenworth County government.
    But, that could soon change.
    Commissioners are considering whether to prohibit smoking anywhere on the premises of county properties.
    The issue was raised Monday as Human Resources Director Diane Collins asked commissioners for their opinion on the matter.
    Collins said the inside of county buildings are smoke free, and employees are not supposed to smoke while inside county vehicles, either.
    She wanted to know if commissioners are interested in making all premises, or at least specific properties, entirely smoke free.
    "I think it's something we definitely want to look into," Commission Chairman Bob Holland said.
    He asked if the county would have to provide a program to help county employees stop smoking.
    Collins said county government has offered smoking cessation programs in the past and can do so again. She said the county also could offer employees discounts for health insurance if they don't smoke.
    "That is something we do not do currently," she said.
    Commissioner Dennis Bixby wondered whether transitioning to smoke free campuses would drive down health insurance costs. He asked if there is data indicating such a policy would save the county money.
    "I have not seen that yet," Collins said.
    Holland said he believes a smoke free policy could help employees stop smoking, and it would cut down on time people spend away from their jobs to smoke outside.
    Bixby said Leavenworth County EMS stations serve as living quarters for employees during their shifts.
    He said telling them they can't smoke on the premises may cause a problem.
    "They do have to live there," he said.
    Leavenworth County Administrator Pat Hurley said he can look into the questions raised by commissioners. He said he's interested in whether the county could receive a health insurance premium adjustment for making campuses smoke free.
    Keith Rickard, executive director of the Guidance Center, said the mental health center will make the transition to having smoke free premises in January 2015.
    Rickard was at Monday's meeting to present an annual report for the Guidance Center and listened to the discussion about smoking.
    "We're involving our smokers in the planning process," he said, encouraging commissioners to do the same.

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