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Ban on fireworks sales in UC may change with new ordinance

Ban on fireworks sales in UC may change with new ordinance
Associate Editor
For a long time, it’s been illegal to sell fireworks inside the city limits of Union City. But an ordinance change requested by Fire Chief Kelly Edmison prompted questions from the Union City city council Tuesday night about making it possible.
Edmison appeared before the council to request a change that would make it legal for stores to sell Class C fireworks, such as sparklers.
He told the council late last fall, the area fire marshal looked at the city’s ordinance and it was so strict that people could not legally buy or light a sparkler in the city limits.
He suggested the city follow state law concerning Class C fireworks, making it possible for the stores to legally sell them here. The larger fireworks could still not be legally sold in the city limits.
However, councilman Johnny Bacon asked if the city could make it legal to sell fireworks in the city limits so the city can get the sales tax, especially since residents can simply go 50 yards across the city limits and purchase them now.
Then, there was the question about residents being able to legally shoot off fireworks in the city limits.
Bacon said they shoot them now and not just on July 4.
The council voted to make the change requested by the chief and city manager Kathy Dillon and city attorney Jim Glasgow Jr. will research the possibility of the city’s allowing fireworks to be legally sold and discharged in the city limits.
After the meeting was opened in prayer by Glasgow, the council:
• Listened as Mayor Terry Hailey read into the record a proclamation for Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week.
• Presented a plaque to Police Chief Joe Garner, who has decided to retire (See related photo).
• Awarded a bid to demolish a building at 604 North Division St. to Dennis Scarborough for $6,000. The matter was brought back to the council after a question at the last meeting about workman’s comp requirements.
• Learned bids for the replacement of the Old Rives Road wastewater pumping station came in at almost double what was estimated by the engineering company. Five bids were received, ranging from $182,000 to $244,000. Ms. Dillon said the plans changed from the original design and Public Works director Steve Ladd said other items were added because of water problems in the area. The bid was awarded to SDT Contractors in Gates for $182,000.
• Agreed to spend an amount not to exceed $90,000 for three aerators for the water treatment plant.
• Voted to purchase a digital audio mixer package from Lowrance Sound for $9,900 and a service contract for $800. The mixer will replace the one at the Union City Civic Auditorium which stopped working before a performance there recently. The city has been renting a mixer in the meantime.
There was also discussion of whether the Civic Auditorium is bringing in a profit. City clerk Carolyn Moran said the rentals have been down since the city increased the fees. Ms. Dillon said the city budgeted $7,000 in revenues, but to date has only collected $3,600. The city shares expenses such as the electric bill, which runs around $1,000 per month, with the school system.
• Heard someone has already vandalized the bathrooms at Veterans Park. Someone set fire to a pile of paper towels in the women’s restroom. Bacon said it is “absolutely ridiculous” and added, “We need to get those morons off the street. If they have no more respect, they need to stay out of the parks.”
• Heard Rolling Thunder motorcycle group will present a POW/MIA flag during a ceremony at Veterans Park Saturday at 10 a.m.
City councilman Dianne Eskew was absent from the meeting. Published in The Messenger 5.16.12

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