BREWER, Maine — The Brewer Housing Authority is accepting written comments about a proposal to ban smoking at all of its facilities and will vote on the issue in January, Gordan Stitham, executive director, said Thursday.
Housing authority directors decided in July 2006 to ban smoking at most of its facilities and now is considering adding the rest, he said.
Out of 154 units “we have 102 that are already nonsmoking,” Stitham said. “And now we’re considering putting the other 52 units” into the nonsmoking category.
If approved in January, all the units would become nonsmoking, and smokers would be required to be 25 feet away from the buildings when they light up, he said.
Smoking residents who occupy units now would be grandfathered and allowed to smoke in their apartments until July 31, but all new tenants would be banned from smoking inside under the proposed new policy.
“That is what the board is recommending right now,” Stitham said. “That might change.”
Smoking inside was banned in 2006 at the Heritage Apartments, the Charles Dartnell Apartments, and four other residential living areas operated by the Brewer Housing Authority.
The board of directors discussed the 2006 smoking ban for nearly two years before endorsing the nonsmoking regulation. Other housing authorities across the state have implemented similar policies.
Public comments on the nonsmoking policy will be accepted up until the housing authority board meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 27, which also is when a public hearing on the proposed changes will be held.
“The board will listen to the comments and make their decision” at that meeting, Stitham said.