Dear Lake St. Louis aldermen:
The manager of Van's Tavern reports that the Kirkwood smoking ban has cut the revenues of her establishment 35 - 40 percent and cut her weekly tips from $800 - $1000 down to a mere $300 per week. The Ice and Fuel Co. reports a 15 percent revenue loss due to the Kirkwood smoking ban and Graham's Grill and Bayou Bar reports a 12 percent loss. These are catastrophic losses for a small business to endure, especially in these still shaky economic times.
Why put Lake St. Louis businesses through this too? Why not allow Lake St. Louis bars and restaurants to avoid these losses by allowing them to clear their air with available filtration and ventilation technology? When the County Council was considering a smoking ban in 2005, Councilman Skip Mange asked me to find for him a local ventilation expert to answer his technical questions. Every ventilation company I interviewed affirmed that properly installed filtration/ventilation technology could effectively remove secondhand smoke in bars and restaurants. The problem they said was that the technology currently employed by local establishments was either inadequate or improperly installed. If this is so, then why are St. Louis political leaders resorting to Draconian smoking bans when a much more business friendly alternative exists?