Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

September 17, 2012

Hulbert board OKs tobacco ordinance

HULBERT — The city of Hulbert board of trustees on Thursday unanimously ap- proved an ordinance prohibiting tobacco use in the city park.

Hulbert is now qualified to apply for a Healthy Communities Incentive Grant, which could provide as much as $10,000 to build walking trails or similar projects. To apply for an HCI grant, three measures – the youth access, the 24/7 clean-air and tobacco-free park ordinances – must be established as city law, said Reaching Our Hulbert Community Director Shasta Teague.

“Since [Hulbert] passed all three ordinances, [they] qualify for an extra level of the grant,” she said. “Had [the city] not passed them all, the basic grant incentive is just $2,000.”

The HCI grant is offered through the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, when a community meets the necessary criteria and receives certification by a Certified Healthy Communities program. Certified Healthy Communities programs are administered by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Following the passage of the ordinance in Hulbert, all Cherokee County parks are now tobacco-free, said Communities of Excellence Tobacco Control Coordinator Carol Choate.

“We may be the only county in the state to have all tobacco-free parks, and that’s amazing,” she said. “Shasta and the group will fill out the criteria to get the healthy community grant, and we’ll see if we’re basic, merit or excellence. If we can bring it up to excellence, then we can get the $10,000 grant. And that money can be used for walking trails or anything to build a healthy environment for [Hulbert]. That’s what it’s all about – a healthy, safe environment where we can work and play, and that’s what [Hulbert has].”

The board also approved the placement of a drug box for the disposal of old and unused prescription medications. The drug box would be located in the police station, and surveillance cameras would be installed to provide 24-hour monitoring.

An application for financial assistance through a Rural Economic Action Plan grant was also authorized for the possible relocation of the city’s raw-water intake system to Fort Gibson Lake.

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