State officials may be taking another look at a loophole included in a statewide smoking ban.
The ban set to take effect on July 5th of this year includes a provision allowing smoking rooms in taverns, which would be similar to a three season porch. Grand Chute building inspector Cary Nate says it’s generating a lot of interest from bar owners and they’ve had people approach them with plans to add on to their businesses.
The rule requires that at least 25-percent of two of the room’s walls are covered with windows that can be opened. Nate says the concern is they don’t have to actually open those windows and the law includes no direction on how the room needs to be ventilated.
The state Commerce Department says it plans to revisit the issue, and other possible loopholes in the smoking ban. A hearing has been scheduled for early April in Madison.
Nate says he hopes officials make a decision soon, so business owners don’t invest in expensive additions that will later be outlawed.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (:57)
Audio courtesy Rick Schuh, WHBY.