Smoking Ban is a Big Change for Residents

By: Phil Levin Email
By: Phil Levin Email

Some local apartments are banning smoking indoors amidst encouragement from the federal government.

In Fort Atkinson, the Parkview and Rockland Court Apartments will begin banning smoking in individual units next month. The facilities get rental assistance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which has encouraged management companies to make the switch with additional grant points and repeated health notices.

At Rockland, staff plan to designate a smoking gazebo, but some residents still say the new rules do not make sense.

"It's okay to have a grill ten feet away, and while you're grilling under what they're saying you could not smoke a cigarette or you could face termination from your apartment," said Vern Zech, a resident for more than six years. The new rules will prevent smoking within 20 feet of any door.

Still, the property manager says some residents are excited about the change. But, he notes challenge in quitting and remains concerned about some long-time smokers who use walkers or other mobility devices possibly making the trips outside a struggle.

"I'm worried about my long-term smokers, what it's going to do to them, because even if they don't live here they've got to live someplace, they've got to adjust and that will be hard thing," said Property Manager Dan Rankin.

Rankin held a tenant meeting to explain the changes and hopes to add additional outdoor seating when the weather warms.

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