Goessel council approves new fireworks ordinance

The Goessel City Council passed at its May 23 meeting Ordinance 235, a four-page document that regulates fireworks within the city.

Those wishing to sell fireworks in Goessel must apply to the city clerk and obtain a permit. The permit fee is $2,000, except for non-profit organizations, which must show proof of their non-profit status.

Permits will be valid for one sale period, which is June 27 through July 4. Fireworks may be sold between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. during those days.

The ordinance stipulates requirements for the placement of fireworks stands. For example, such stands are not allowed in residential areas or near gas storage units. A functioning and approved fire extinguisher shall be kept at the fireworks stand.

The ordinance notes that it is ?unlawful to sell or display fireworks on city property.? It also is unlawful to sell or display fireworks in a business where flammable substances are in close proximity.

Fireworks stands must be removed within three days after the sales period ends.

The ordinance further states that ?Class C? fireworks are approved for use within the city. According to the ordinance, ?All fireworks offered for sale and discharged within the city of Goessel shall be of a type that has been tested and approved for sale and use within the state of Kansas by the State Fire Marshall.?

The ordinance specifically mentions that bottle rockets, M80s and similar devices ?shall not be sold or discharged in the city.?

As a safety precaution, the ordinance requires that signs reading ?Fireworks for Sale, No Smoking Allowed? shall be displayed at the site of fireworks sales.

The ordinance further states, ?It shall be unlawful for any person to throw, cast or propel fireworks of any kind in the direction of or in the path of any animal, person or group of persons, or from or in the direction of or from any vehicle of any kind.?

It is unlawful to discharge any fireworks within 100 feet of any gasoline pump or filling station. Also, fireworks shall not be sold or used if Marion County has issued a ban on open burning. Fireworks can be discharged from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 1 to 3 and from 8 a.m. to midnight July 4.

The chief of police and fire department chief are authorized to confiscate all fireworks that violate the ordinance. Violators can be fined up to $100 for each violation and can be imprisoned up to 30 days.

A copy of the full ordinance can be obtained from the city office.

Organization

The council made annual appointments at this meeting: attorney, Marilyn Wilder (with Adrian and Pankratz in Newton); judge, Bryson Mills; police chief, Eric Reed; city clerk Anita Goertzen; court clerk, Paula Flaming; treasurer, Donna Cook.

Goertzen administered the oath of office for Dallas Boese, Jim Wiens and Rollin Schmidt. Boese and Wiens were re-elected to the council. Schmidt is new on the council, replacing Duane Duerksen, whose term has ended.

Mayor Peggy Jay recognized Duerksen for his years of service and presented him with a plaque.

?I have enjoyed working with all of you,? Duerksen said.

The council then reorganized with the following responsibilities: Larry Schmidt, park; Jim Wiens, wastewater; Dallas Boese, water and burnsite; Larry Lindeman, equipment, and Rollin Schmidt, streets.

Larry Schmidt was elected council president.

Other business

In other business, the council:

? heard from the police department that ?domestic cases have slowed down a little bit.? Reed said four warnings had been issued and four contacts had been made. The Newton K-9 unit had checked lockers and cars at the high school May 3.

? heard that public works employee Karen Dalke made arrangements with Kauffman Trenching for a sewer line at the baseball diamonds so a rest-room building can be erected.

? heard that Dalke has the disc-golf equipment ready to install at the city park.

? heard about the park from Larry Schmidt. The city charges $10 to rent the shelter house. Referring to the shelter house, he said, ?It?s been rented a lot; it?s been used; it?s been cleaned a lot.?

? discussed the north open shelter house and options to either replace it or install metal roofing instead of shingles in an effort to reduce vandalism. No decision was made, but it was noted that no more shingles have been torn off recently.

? discussed replacing the south enclosed shelter house. Jay suggested that if the city does eventually build a new shelter house, it should be built for year-round use, not just summer use.

? following considerable time comparing basketball goals for the city park, decided to purchase adjustable goals from Donavon Funk.

? designated $500 from the general fund for promoting the city.

? discussed financing a Main Street overlay project, although it is unclear when the Kansas Department of Transportation will resurface the highway and Main Street. The project would include milling off 2 inches of the existing Main Street surface before installing the overlay material.

Goertzen had contacted three engineers, who would not charge for their services unless the city obtains money from a revolving fund. The council estimated that the cost could be $150,000.

Wiens suggested putting $20,000 to $30,000 a year into a Main Street fund. Goertzen agreed, adding, ?We?ve been bringing it up every year.?

? discussed a yard that needs to be mowed. If the city mows the yard, the homeowner is charged $100. But the homeowner in this case already has out-standing bills with the city.

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