The Glen Rose City Council tackled an explosive topic at its regular meeting last week — fireworks. The result could force local residents to drastically change their Fourth of July celebration plans.
By a 3-2 vote at the June 12 meeting, the council passed a city ordinance that makes it illegal to possess fireworks within the Glen Rose city limits. The new ordinance also bans the discharge and sale of fireworks within the city, which is common in most cities.
The discussion revolved around the word "keep" as well as the key phrase "with intent to sell or discharge" fireworks within the city.
Council members Sandra Ramsey, Linda James and Dennis Moore voted in favor of the ordinance, which bans possession of fireworks along with manufacture, assembly, transport or selling of fireworks of any description. Doug Mitchell and Robert Marquez cast the dissenting votes.
The ordinance goes into effect immediately, which means that any fireworks bought for the upcoming Fourth of July can’t legally be brought, fired or sold inside the Glen Rose city limits. Even merely transporting them in your vehicle is, according to the wording of the ordinance, punishable by a fine ranging from $25 to $500. Any fireworks found by authorities within the city limits can be confiscated.
The ordinance was put together by City Manager Chester Nolen and Fire Marshal Mark Crawford.
Despite voting for it, Moore said he is not happy with the wording, and will be placing the topic on the next city council agenda to possibly revise the ordinance.
“I had some issues with the ordinance,” Moore said earlier this week. “I’m looking to re-word it. The ordinance prohibits possession, and I think that goes too far.”
Moore noted that Stephenville has two provisions in its city ordinance concerning fireworks. They only prohibit the sale or discharge of fireworks in that city.
“I’m more comfortable with that,” Moore said.
New Glen Rose Mayor Sue Oldenburg, who was residing over her first full City Council meeting, noted that Glen Rose previously had only an ordinance prohibiting firewords inside the city parks.
In another agenda vote, council members approved rezoning of an area in the 200 block of West Gibbs Boulevard, which is being considered as the site for construction of a Tractor Supply outlet. The Planning and Zoning Commission submitted its approval to the council, which then voted unanimously (5-0) to allow the land there to be rezoned from its previous R-1 designation (single-family residential) to B-2 (commercial).
A previous attempt a couple of months ago to have a spot on English Street rezoned was rejected by the council after several complaints were received from residents about possible traffic, noise and lighting concerns that the new business might bring to their neighborhood.
The rezoned spot is across the street from the First Baptist Church.
“The other place wasn’t a good location,” Moore noted. “Word is now, that won’t be an issue. I don’t think there was anyone that was against it.”
Council member Robert Marquez said that the potential Tractor Supply store was never opposed for any reason other than the first location was not appropriate for a business.
“If it creates an economic development, with sound growth, then it makes sense” Marquez said. “I think it’s in (the) right direction. I think it’s a good thing for Glen Rose.”
In other action, the council voted to reinstate two grants. One, for $10,000, will go to the Joe Beaver Jr. Superstars Roping event. The other, for $3,500, goes to the Tejas Texas Time Trials, a bicycle race.
Because Oldenburg became major in May, she resigned as a member of the Glen Rose Economic Board. The council voted to name James Hawthorse to replace Oldenburg on that board.
The council also voted to add Mary Jane Young and Candace Scholz as new members of the Preservation Board.
The owner of an abandoned, dilapidated house at 401 Austin Road that has been condemned was given 30 days notice to demolish it.