Valdosta considers clean air ordinance - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta considers clean air ordinance

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May 21, 2003

Valdosta - Smoking in local restaurants could soon be a thing of the past. "We're considering this ordinance to provide our citizens with a healthier, cleaner dining environment," said Councilman Sonny Vickers.

The Valdosta city council is considering an ordinance that would only allow smoking in restaurants with separate air filtration systems. "It's created a better atmosphere in Albany and seems to be going well there, maybe it could do the same here," said Vickers. "We're not trying to stop people from smoking, but we don't think non-smokers should have to breathe the air when they're smoking."

Eric Saunders owns Charley O'Corley's Pub and Grill, and says the ordinance would be detrimental to his business. "I'd lose a lot of customers and may even have to move out of the city limits or to Remerton," said Saunders.

Other restaurant owners say the ordinance could be a positive thing, and are confident their business will continue to thrive. "We offer good food, good service, and that's what people come here for," said Chuck Rasmussen, Ruby Tuesday Manager. "I don't think we'd lost any customers."

Many Valdosta diners agree. "The smoke aggravates my allergies, and it doesn't help the taste of the food either," said Betty Bush.

The city council stresses that they're only considering the clean air ordinance, and will carefully examine the pros and cons before making any decisions.

posted at 3:45 by ashley.harper@walb.com