After Union aldermen approved restrictions on smoking at city parks, the city’s park board updated other park rules.

Parks and Recreation Director Angela Sullivan said since the ordinance was passed prohibiting smoking near structures in the parks system, signs around the parks needed to be updated.

Before ordering new signs, Sullivan said the park board should weigh in and make sure the rules are up to date.

At the Nov. 29 park board meeting the board reviewed the current rules and discussed slight alterations. 

Some of the changes were minor. For example, the old park rules said pet owners must clean up after their animal.

The board revised the new rule to include that animals must be on leashes, except at the designated dog park.

Other additions covered things like instructing drivers to follow the posted speed limit, not park on the grass and stay on paved roads.

The rules also prevent camping — something Sullivan said was not allowed, but was never spelled out on any signage. 

The only rule the park board debated on was one Sullivan proposed about fires. She wrote “fires may only be built in receptacles intended for the purpose of fires.”

Some board members expressed concern that this might be misinterpreted by people thinking something like a fire pit was allowed. The board also wanted to word the rule in a way that didn’t discourage people from bringing their own grills.

The board agreed to reword the rule to say “no open fires; fires may only be built in receptacles for the purpose of cooking.”

Sullivan said she plans to order 15 to 20 signs to put up around the parks system with the new rules. She said she got pricing on 30-inch  by 18-inch signs that were about $51 a sign.

Smoking Change

The smoking ordinance was passed in November by the board of aldermen.

The ordinance, which amends the city’s old ordinance dealing with alcoholic beverages and drugs, now covers smoking and designates nonsmoking areas. The change was supported by the city’s park board and passed unanimously by the board of aldermen.

Under the ordinance smoking is banned within 25 feet of any building, pavilion, pool, dock, gazebo, restrooms or the splash park at any time. The restriction also covers “electronic vapor devices.”

The ordinance also bans smoking on or near any sports fields during any scheduled or organized sporting event.

An exception is made for private rentals of pavilions. The ordinance grants renters the ability to allow smoking as long as everything is cleaned up and any damage repaired.