Housing authority enacts smoking ban

Posted Jan. 28, 2009, at 7 p.m.

BREWER, Maine — The Brewer Housing Authority’s board of directors voted Tuesday to make all of its facilities smoke-free, Executive Director Gordan Stitham said Wednesday.

Housing authority directors decided in July 2006 to ban smoking in 102 units, and just added the remaining 52 units to the list, he said.

Residents in those units who smoke will be grandfathered and allowed to smoke in their apartments until July 31, but all new tenants will be banned from smoking inside.

Under the new policy, smokers are required to be 25 feet away from the buildings when they light up, Stitham said.

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.

The board also discussed changing rent collection policies and decided to table one idea and endorse two others.

A proposal to eliminate cash payments was tabled for three months to allow Stitham to do research into the idea, but the board did approve creating a $20 late payment fee and adding a $30 returned check fee.

“Now they have to pay their rent within the first five business days” of the month, he said. “Unless they’ve made a payment agreement.”

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