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Niskayuna hears public comment on town park smoking ban

The Niskayuna Town Board held a public meeting on Tuesday, May 27, on a proposed local law to ban smoking in town parks.

Several students and parents spoke in favor of the ban.

Stacy Thomas, mother of two children, spoke as a representative of Niskayuna Moms Group. I don't want a bad example set, she said.

The board will vote on the ban at a June board meeting.

The Capital District Tobacco-Free Coalition has offered to provide signs for the parks at no cost to the town. The board hopes that the signs would be obeyed by peer pressure and the concern of parents.

In other business, the board also passed a resolution, sponsored by Councilwomen Liz Kasper, to purchase equipment to install a turnstile at the town's skate park. The use of the turnstile, in lieu of hiring an attendant, would allow the use of the park during all daytime hours, she said. The town's insurance company did not object to that arrangement, said Kasper.

Operation of the park has been limited, as it has been difficult hiring attendants to oversee the park.

The town will also purchase a remote camera to observe behavior in the park. "We will monitor it closely and, if it is misused, the alternative will be closing the park," Kasper said. The savings realized by not hiring an attendant, said Kasper, would pay for the cost of the turnstile, $3,750, and the camera, $1,000.""

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