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Some West Warwick residents skirting the rules

October 17, 2013

The smoking area at West Warwick Manor in Arctic is used by some residents, while others choose to ignore rules prohibiting smoking inside. Some West Warwick Housing Authority residents could eventually be taken to court for their constant breaking of the rules. Jessica Boisclair. Kent County Daily Times.

WEST WARWICK— Although a non-smoking policy was passed last October at The West Warwick Manor and Clyde Towers, the West Warwick Housing Authority is having issues with tenants not following the rules.

During the town council meeting Tuesday night, Chairperson of the authority Thomas Zampa explained that people smoking in the two buildings has become an issue.

“You have tenants who feel they’re paying their share of the rent and they want to smoke,” he said to the council. “We invested in a smoking shelter, but many times they don’t want to go outside to smoke.”

He said both housing areas advertise as non-smoking facilities and in the lease there is a clause that states that tenants can be evicted for not following that policy.

Town Council member Ed Giroux asked Zampa and Executive Director of the housing authority Kristen Swanson whether the smoking problem included marijuana as well as cigarettes.

“The conflict with the marijuana question,” Swanson explained. “Is that the state recognizes medical marijuana, but the federal government says it’s a controlled substance and therefore it cannot be used anywhere on federally subsidized property.”

She said that currently, the housing authority is in the process of litigating several cases regarding cigarettes, not marijuana.

“We have made it perfectly clear to those people that they can’t smoke in the building,” she added. “And they’ve all signed a copy of the smoking policy and they signed an amendment to their leases and agreed to abide by the smoke-free policy.”

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