Several downtown restaurant owners vowed to continue to fight the newly adopted smoking cigarettes ban after Spartanburg City Council overwhelmingly approved the ordinance Monday.

Kevin Moore, proprietor of Delaney's Irish Pub, said he will continue to talk to council members up to the day the ordinance becomes effective on Sept. 1.

The ordinance restricts smoking cigarettes in downtown bars and restaurants, and smokers must be at least 15 feet from an establishment's entrance and exit and ventilation system so the smoke cigarettes doesn't infiltrate the business. A restaurant owner can have a designated smoking cigarettes area, but it must meet the distance requirements. The smoking cigarettes area can't be used for dining.

The ordinance doesn't restrict smoking cigarettes on city sidewalks.

Councilwoman Linda Dogan was the lone council member to vote against the ordinance. Councilman Robert Reeder voted against the ordinance on first reading at the last council meeting, but voted in favor of it on Monday.

Reeder said he needed clarification on several points. He said he's disappointed there won't be designated smoking cigarettes areas at city-sponsored events such as Spring Fling, Music on Main and International Festival, but was pleased that smoking cigarettes wouldn't be restricted if groups rented city-owned facilities.

"I was willing to come to a compromise; that's what politics is all about and this issue is no different," Reeder said.

Moore, who said he also was speaking on behalf of other downtown business owners, said he's concerned about the distance requirement for a smoking cigarettes area. Delaney's is one of a few downtown restaurants that allows smoking cigarettes.

"I don't have outdoor seating and even if I did, it wouldn't meet the 15 feet requirements," Moore said. "I have the biggest smoking cigarettes bar in Spartanburg and to be honest, I'm concerned about how this will effect not only my business, but a lot of businesses downtown."

Bob Turner, 63, said he's a former smoker who's lived in Spartanburg his entire life. He said a smoking cigarettes ban will not likely hurt downtown businesses since areas that have enacted similar bans have reported business actually has increased.

"I think it's about time Spartanburg did what other forward-thinking communities are doing," Turner said. "It's about breathing clean air — we all have a right to that."

Wild Wings general manager Ramsey Roe said his restaurant allows smoking cigarettes upstairs and on a patio, and said he tries to please all of his patrons.

"I'm disappointed (with the ordinance)," Roe said. "I'd like there to be an option for both parties to try to work this out because as it stands now, this severely limits how we can operate."

Moore said the impact on his business was unclear.

"Hopefully, we can sit down with the city to try to work this out because we want people to come downtown — not just to this restaurant; downtown, period," Roe said. "I just don't think this is a way to get people down here."

Individuals and business owners who violate the ordinance are subject to a fine between $10 and $25.

In other business, council unanimously approved appropriating almost $1 million in one-time expenditures. The city has a balance of $472,974 remaining from the sale of the sewer system to Spartanburg Water, and Assistant City Manager Chris Story said staff is confident after the last bond sale for the Arkwright Landfill closure funds will be sufficient. Staff estimates about $506,154 remaining in that fund.

Council voted to use those proceeds — about $979,128 — for the following: $350,000 toward the settlement of the Marriott at Renaissance Park lawsuit; $215,000 to close-out several completed capital projects; $250,000 toward the long-term Northside initiative; $50,000 for website improvements to improve web-based citizen communication; $28,670 for a grant match to connect the Mary Black Rail Trail to the Union Street Skate Park; $67,000 to update the interface for enterprise system software; and $18,458 for a grant match for Downtown Memorial Airport site work.

Council also unanimously approved two property donations to the city. The owners of 222 Ernest L. Collings Ave. and 492 Greenlea St. offered the parcels to the city. The city will incur demolition costs on both sites and pay the 2010 taxes on the properties ($969.43 for both properties).

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