Bar Owners Want Smoking Ban RepealedGrand Forks bar owners want a city-wide smoking ban repealed. They want to do it by getting it on the ballot.
Grand Forks bar owners want a city-wide smoking ban repealed. They want to do it by getting it on the ballot. To put the smoking ban to a vote, bar owners will need to get 3,805 signatures. Bar owners say putting the issue to a vote will make the decision fair.
Grand Forks bar owners are petitioning against the smoking ban ordinance that the city council passed last Monday. They say seven people should not make this kind of decision for the whole community.
Dave McGatlin/Sledster's General Manager: "I'm pretty sure they will get the adequate signatures to put it on the ballot. I hope they do- I would like to see it put to a vote that way if the citizens of Grand Forks don't want it at least the citizens spoke and not just the city council."
If the ordinance stays in place, bar owners say they will have a tough time adapting. Specifically changing the range outside of a business that smokers can light up.
Mike McMenamy/McMenamy's Tavern Owner: "It used to be five feet from the door and they changed it to fifteen feet to the door and if you take a look here at my property I have very limited space to work with. "
Dave McGatlin/Sledster's General Manager: "We were talking about doing a beer garden out back but part of the ordinance now is I believe fifteen feet away from any entrance from any building I don't know how any downtown bar can build a type of shelter that's 15 feet from an entrance that seems a little unreasonable. "
To change the vote the bar owners will have to gather 3,805 signatures to put the smoking ordinance on the June ballot. McMenamy says it doesn't matter what side of the issue you are on to have your voice heard.
Mike McMenamy/McMenamy's Tavern Owner: "All we need is your signature to get this new proposed ordinance to a public vote. It doesn't say we are for it or against it we we gust want to get it to a public vote because we feel that's the most important thing."
Petitions are circulating at many area bars.