The Devils Lake Park Board is one step closer to solidifying guidelines for the use of tobacco products at its outdoor facilities.

The Devils Lake Park Board is one step closer to solidifying guidelines for the use of tobacco products at its outdoor facilities.

At Monday's regularly-scheduled meeting, the board voted unanimously to have director Terry Wallace write up a proposed policy and present it to the board for its approval.

Last month, Liz Bonney, Ramsey County Tobacco Prevention Coordinator with Lake Region District Health, brought the idea of a policy to limit areas in which tobacco products could be used at city parks.

The board looked at models currently placed in communities throughout the state of North Dakota. Ultimately, one seemed to jump out to board members as a policy that could fit well in Devils Lake.

"I like what Williston has done with its policy," board member Kale Stromme stated. "It's pretty cut and dry specifically when it talks about banning cigarettes in any area where youth are playing."

The board agreed noting that the policy should include a ban of tobacco products near playground equipment. The board also felt that at baseball and softball diamonds, tobacco will be off limits during youth activities.

The only concern about such a policy was how to enforce the rules.
"There is no way to police the use of tobacco products at the park 100 percent of the time," Bonney stated.

She pointed out that the policy would inform the public of rules in place. Bonney feels signage, to potentially be provided by Lake Region District Health, would be extremely beneficial.

"I don't expect anyone to be out there at all times and stop what they are doing if they see someone smoking. That's not realistic," Bonney added. "This is a self-policing policy. I think the public will be compliant once they know there are guidelines in place."

The board then voted for Wallace to form a policy similar to the one in Williston. It is expected to be presented for board approval at a future meeting.

In other business, the park board looked over an initial agreement proposal for the Creel Bay Golf Course. The golf course committee is set meet to go over items on a one-on-one basis later this week.

Also, the newly-added viewing area at the Mike Dosch Memorial Pool has been a hit, manager David Kerlin told the board.
"We have a gotten a lot of positive comments on it," he stated.