WEST PARIS – Selectmen have been asked to consider making town athletic fields smoke free.

“I represent a group known as Healthy Oxford Hills,” Libby Graffam told the board last week, “and we would like to see all the towns in the Oxford Hills area join this drive to make sports facilities tobacco-free.”

So far, she said, Harrison, Hebron, Norway, Oxford, Otisfield, Paris and Waterford have passed ordinances to make their facilities tobacco-free. “So that just leaves West Paris the only town that does not have such an ordinance, and we would like to see you join in,” Graffam said.

The board agreed to consider the issue and possibly write an ordinance for voters to act on at the annual meeting in March. The town has three ball fields, all of them in the village.

“We have areas here by the town office that I wouldn’t want to see tobacco-free, because we have always had a smoking area here,” Selectman Wayne Theofrastou said. “But I may consider it if it is limited to the ball fields.”

“If that’s the way you prefer it, that’s an option you have,” Graffam said.

Board Chairman Jim Johnston said the issue would have to go before the voters for approval.

Town Manager Donald Woodbury said, “We will be considering several proposed ordinances later on, and if the board wishes we can consider a tobacco-free ordinance at that time.”

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