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Dave Olson, Published January 08 2013

West Fargo repeals smoking ban, extends time to pay parking tickets

WEST FARGO – The West Fargo City Commission voted unanimously Monday night to repeal the city’s ban on indoor smoking in public places.

No, it doesn’t mean smokers may light up at the water cooler.

The step was taken because a statewide initiated measure approved by voters in November is a stricter ban on indoor smoking than the one West Fargo had, making the city’s ordinance unnecessary.

“It’s just cleaner not to have a conflicting ordinance,” City Attorney Brian Neugebauer said.

Also Monday, the commission voted to change the language of a city ordinance regarding fines for unpaid parking tickets.

The old wording gave people five days to pay a ticket.

The new wording gives people 10 days to pay.

City Manager Jim Brownlee said West Fargo consistently gave people who asked for it an additional five days to pay a parking fine, so the ordinance was changed to make the time period match what had essentially become policy.

“We just said, ‘Let’s clean that up and make ordinance reflect practice,’ ’’ Brownlee said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555