No new fireworks ordinance was passed Monday evening by the Glen Rose City Council, but the topic has not fizzled out.
The council members will try again next month, with a little help from the city attorney.
Last month’s regular meeting included a lengthy discussion about the wording of the ordinance, but it passed by a 3-2 margin — leaving some doubt among residents whether they could even bring fireworks home after legally buying them outside of city limits.
Council member Dennis Moore once again emphasized that he feels it’s important for the ordinance not to prohibit possession of fireworks in the city. Other key words of contention in the current ordinance included “keep” and “store.”
Council member Sandra Ramsay argued that some people try to make their own fireworks, and the danger that brings makes the possession of fireworks along with “manufacture” makes it a necessary inclusion.
Councilman Robert Marquez noted that some other cities have ordinances prohibiting possession, but include wording about the “intent” of the fireworks user to prevent selling or manufacture.
Somervell County Fire Marshal Mark Crawford spoke about the current ordinance’s intent, stating, “I think the spirit of the ordinance was to have teeth in it,” referring to cases when law enforcement officers are called out for fireworks complaints within the city and don’t catch anyone in the act. Crawford also confirmed that the manufacture of fireworks is already controlled by the ATF (the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives).
When asked by Ramsay if a report of a minor fire at Big Rocks Park caused by fireworks was true, Crawford said it did occur, on July 3.
The council members agreed that the city attorney, Brady Pendleton, would draw up new wording for an ordinance, and they will vote on that during their regular August meeting.
Upward property value trend
Earlier, during the public comments portion of the meeting, former council member Mike Jones came to the podium and said he wanted to bring attention to the trend shown recently by the Central Appraisal District.
Jones indicated he feels property values are soaring, and provided printouts showing details of business property values in Glen Rose. He said that the average value is currently about $196,000 per acre.
Jones said he will be keeping an eye on developments, emphasizing that he wants to “keep our property values appropriately priced.”
City code adjustments
The council voted unanimously (5-0) to approve a subdivision regulation amendment, which was explained by Thomas Heap, who is the inspector for the Glen Rose City Code Enforcement Office.
Heap said that changes were necessary because Glen Rose is a “little town growing up,” and legal stipulations in Texas law required some changes for future growth and development.
“What we’re trying to do is put safeguards in, so the taxpayers do not have to foot the bill for mistakes that would be made during developments of subdivisions,” Heap said. “We put safeguards up front to be sure local citizens are not harmed if someone makes a mistake.”
The council voted, 4-1, to seek terms for an agreement with Knox Waste Service in a new solid waste pickup contract. City Administrator Chester Nolen said that the company has offered a five-year pact that would charge residents $9.95 a month per home, which would include a 96-gallon trash rollout. Nolen said that details of the agreement would be worked out, and the agreement would then be brought before the council for final approval.
EDB grant approved
A 5-0 vote approved a $3,000 grant from the Glen Rose Economic Development Board to go toward hiring a part-time employee at Tiger Claw Tactical on the downtown square. That will go into effect July 15.
RV spaces to be added at Oakdale Park
The council unanimously approved expansion of the spaces for recreational vehicles at Oakdale Park. The 5-0 vote will result in 15 new RV spaces, just east of the existing campground, on what is now used for overflow parking. Oakdale Park manager Michael Leamons said that each of the new spaces will be 12 feet wide.
Other matters addressed
In the wake of the resignation of Becky Paschal from the Glen Rose Board of Adjustment, the council voted for her replacement. Scott Wilshusen, who noted that he had 42 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, was named to fill the open position by a 5-0 count.
City Council budget workshop dates for 2018 were set for Thursday, July 20, and Monday, July 24.
An executive session was held at the close of the regular meeting, but no action was taken.