Future Independence Days could happen without boom
Lighting fireworks might be the furthest thought from residents’ minds with significant snow on the ground, but the Tonganoxie City Council approved an ordinance Wednesday, Feb. 27, that would provide for the ban of fireworks in certain cases.
The council approved, 4-0, the ordinance, which gives the Tonganoxie City fire chief the authority to ban fireworks and burning in general.
Tonganoxie mayor Jason Ward said dry conditions the past two summers prompted putting the ordinance in motion if the city faces extremely dry conditions during future fireworks’ seasons.
Fireworks sales will not be prohibited during any bans, but as City Attorney Mike Kelly said, the ban would affect the sales in a roundabout way because residents would not be able to shoot off any purchased fireworks within city limits.
If a ban is enforced, fireworks vendors can request a refund of fireworks sale permit fees of up to 50 percent.
Ward said the ban could be instituted in times of drought.
“Not only a ban on fireworks, but on fires in general,” he said. “Really what it does is gives us the opportunity to protect citizens.”
In other business, the council:
• Heard from City Administrator Nathan McCommon about monthly revenue and epxenditures. McCommon will provide the council with a monthly breakdown.
• Approved, 4-0, to withdraw from health insurance coverage with Midwest Public Risk, effective June 30. If a more feasible agreement with another provider isn’t reached, the city can decide to stay with Midwest Public Risk through another vote.
• Approved, 4-0, the minutes from the Feb. 11 meeting.
• Approved, 4-0, bills in pay ordinance A-1701.
• Approved, 4-0, payment of $22,118.85 to Davis Moore Auto Group for a 2013 Dodge Charger police car, $8,986.10 to 911 Custom to equip the new police vehicle, $8,097.66 to the Kansas City, Kan., Board of Public Utilities for water purchases, $3,612.50 to BRR Architecture for planning services, $29,500 to Gilmore and Bell for bond attorney services associated with the 2013 bond sales, $7,445 to LCDC for the city’s annual contribution, $2,766.50 to the Kansas State Treasurer for January state court fees and $5,219.29 to Westar Energy for monthly electric bills and street lights.
• Met in executive session for 20 minutes with City Attorney Mike Kelly, McCommon and Assistant City Administrator Jennifer Jones-Lacy to discuss non-elected personnel. No action was taken.
• Heard from Kelly about this year’s St. Patrick’s Parade, which will be Saturday, March 16, in downtown Tonganoxie. Games, a scavenger hunt and other activities also are planned. Kelly also noted that this would be the 25th installment of the parade.