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Smoking banned in Colo. Springs parks

By Rana Novini, Anchor/Reporter, r.novini@krdo.com
Published On: Jul 24 2013 12:00:06 AM CDT

Water restrictions are eased in Colorado Springs and smoking is banned in city parks. Rana Novini reports.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Colorado Springs City Council voted Tuesday to ban smoking in all city parks.

Karen Palus, the city's director of parks, said that on many occasions Colorado Springs parks employees have found mounds of cigarette butts in city parks.  The tossed butts present a fire danger, according to Palus.

As news of the ban broke in Memorial Park on Tuesday afternoon, there were mixed reactions.

Gordon Butt and his wife were playing by Prospect Lake with their 18-month-old son.  Butt told KRDO NewsChannel 13 that he was glad his son could soon come to the park without worrying about second-hand smoke.

"When you're in a public park, and I want to be playing with my son, I don't want to have to take him somewhere else because there's three or four adults right next to the playground smoking," Butt said.

Smokers at the park were outraged.

"As an adult in the state of Colorado, I feel that if I'm able to go fight for my country, I should be able to smoke freely wherever I want to," said Jesus Pacheco.

Also on City Council's agenda was easing water restrictions in Colorado Springs.

Council voted to allow residents to use 2500 cubic feet of water instead of 2,000 cubic feet.  Customers who exceed that usage will be charged 1.25 times the cost instead of the previous two times the cost.

Gary Bostrom, chief water services officer for Colorado Springs Utilities, told KRDO NewsChannel 13 that, basically, customers can now use more water and will be fined less for going over the limit.  

The number of days a resident can water has not changed.  Watering restrictions remain at two days a week.

"City Council certainly understands we're in a drought, and given the uncertainty of where the snowpack will be next year, we need to continue to save to be in a better position for next year by saving water this year," Bostrom said.

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