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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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City Council to reconsider e-cig ordinance

As the College Station City Council prepares for its meeting Thursday, issues on the docket include possible action on e-cigarette regulations.
“The city council will consider only two changes to the ordinance on Thursday: Banning the sale of e-cigs to minors, and making it illegal for minors to possess or use e-cigs,” said Jay Socol, College Station director of public communications.
The meeting will include a public hearing, so anyone from the community will have the opportunity to stand before the council and speak on the issue.
“After careful consideration, staff decided to bring forward an ordinance that only places restrictions on minors’ access to e-cigarettes,” said Colin Killian, communications and marketing specialist for the city. “If the ordinance is approved, it will take effect in 20 days.”
Restricting the use of e-cigs in the same areas as tobacco products will not be considered on Thursday, but it has been discussed. The council decided on Aug. 25 to delay the voting on the issue because it wanted College Station staff to conduct additional research on the matter. Socol said it is difficult to estimate the amount of people who will show up to speak.
“Because the amended ordinance being considered no longer reflects the most-debated provision, the location-specific stuff, folks might not see the need to attend,” Socol said. “That is, if they realize in time that that portion has been dropped from consideration.”
Killian said this particular issue should have little impact on college students, but other issues might, including workshop discussion on a master plan for Southeast Community Park, Lick Creek Greenway and Rock Prairie Landfill property.
Killian said the meeting will also host a public hearing on the proposed budget for the 2015 fiscal year and a public hearing on the proposed property tax rate for the 2015 fiscal year, which could impact students.
“The master plan discussion on the parks is a quality-of-life issue, since many students use city parks for recreation,” Killian said. “Most students don’t pay property taxes, but they do pay sales taxes, which pay for most of the city’s budget. The proposed budget enhances code enforcement with a focus on neighborhood integrity, which could have an impact in students who live in rent houses.”
The regular meeting will start at 7 p.m. Thursday at City Hall. The event will be live blogged so those who can’t attend can still receive updates.

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