Chanute city commissioners approved a resolution Monday evening to prohibit smoking in public parks.

The resolution is part of the Pathways to a Healthy Kansas grant awarded to the Chanute Recreation Commission by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas. The grant requires some action on an element of smoking cessation and/or education. Because the commission approved a resolution instead of an ordinance, there are no penalties for violating the policy.

Commissioner Phil Chaney said people should not call 911 if they see someone light up in a park. The city will post signs to remind people of tobacco-free areas.

“It’s saying we’re trying to encourage this type of behavior,” Commissioner Sam Budreau said.

Amy Hendrickson with the Pathways policy group said the action unlocks grant funding that can be used for other projects, including possible kayaking or paddle boats on Santa Fe Lake.

Julie Aikins with the CRC, who applied and was awarded the Pathways grant, gave an update on its progress, including a designated bicycle route circling the city. She said the route had to be modified slightly from the original Memorandum of Understanding approved by the commission.

Aikins said there are five months left in the grant period. One rider on the 14.7-mile total route has designed five shorter routes named for public artworks along the way, she told commissioners.

The overall route has been named the Pathways Safari Tour, Aikins said, or informally the “Selfie Route” because people take selfie photos with the sculptures. The other five routes range in length from the 2.5-mile Ostrich Route to the 7.7-mile Elephant Route in the southeast part of the city, and the 6.5-mile Panther Route around Neosho County Community College.


Other business

Larry Pierce with the annual July Fourth fireworks fundraising project met with the commission about this year’s effort. He said organizers still had some funds from last year, and are interested in holding a concert as part of the celebration. This year’s holiday falls on a Saturday.

The goal this year is to raise funds for a $12,000 fireworks display lasting 18 minutes, beginning at 10 pm on July 4. The same pyrotechnics company will do the show as the previous two years. The city has budgeted $5,000 for the fireworks display, which commissioners voted to authorize Monday evening.bCommissioners asked for a written proposal on the concert and bands, which Pierce estimated will require about $5,000 in additional funding.

City Manager Jeff Cantrell reported that he met with Neosho County Commission Chair Gail Klaassen to discuss matters including the 911 system and Douglas Road south of the city limits, also known as Plummer Avenue.

Commissioners approved a resolution to find property at 218 S. Kansas, owned by Michael Powell, in violation of city code. Property at 1703 S. Edith has been abated.

Chaney asked for updates on the status of an alternative water supply for emergencies, utility hook-up practices, downtown revitalization efforts and street parking. Although Chaney owns several downtown buildings, he was not present at last week’s Main Street Chanute public planning work session. 

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