Kodiak Daily Mirror - Assembly may revisit fireworks legislation
Assembly may revisit fireworks legislation
by Julie Herrmann
Jul 14, 2014 | 204 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly discussed revisiting an ordinance banning fireworks outside of June 15 and July 15 and December 26 to July 1.. The panel also funding for furniture, fixtures and equipment for the new high school at the July 10 work session.

There have been some concerns expressed by the borough’s bond attorney regarding language in FY2010-03, the ordinance authorizing the borough to issue bonds to fund the building of the school.

“The language he was concerned about is towards the bottom of section four that states that if additional funding becomes available for the project, from grants or other sources, only enough bonds to finish the project will be sold,” Borough Manager Bud Cassidy said. “We want to make sure that we’re selling the right amount of bonds.”

Confusion had stemmed from whether equipment was purchased specifically for the new building or whether it was upgrades for existing equipment or replacements or new purchases that would have happened anyway without the new building construction happening. It came down to, according to a memo from Cassidy to the assembly, the interpretation of that language. “It is a policy call,” the memo said.

The assembly discussed how to ensure the right amount of bonds were purchased and ensure bonds were only sold for equipment and fixtures purchased for the new building.

Assembly member Mel Stephens asked for staff to provide a list of what was planned to be purchased under the new project and what was to be purchased under regular operation expenses.

Assembly member Carol Austerman asked that the school district staff and the borough staff come up with an appropriate list, run it by the school superintendent and the borough manager and let the assembly know they’ve come to an agreement.

At the end of the session during the manager’s comments time, Cassidy said the borough had received some complaints about fireworks noise and spoke with Alaska State Troopers and the fire department about some fires that had occurred, all of which were away from residential areas.

“Folks are concerned about fireworks in neighborhoods,” Cassidy said. He asked the assembly if they wanted to revisit the fireworks ordinance and take a stand on fireworks in residential areas.

Austerman said she had personally received complaints about fireworks.

“I think that we should, at minimum, put up signage at Mill Bay Beach that shows what quiet hours are and make that be specific to fireworks,” Austerman said. “I think that’s where the majority of the complaints that I have heard from were located.”

She added that she wanted the borough to change their radio ads about fireworks that say to take them to the beach.

“There are too many beaches that are near town that are part of densely populated residential areas,” Austerman said.

Austerman also said she would be willing to move forward legislation saying fireworks were not allowed in residential areas if other members of the assembly were interested.

Austerman said she did note that Bayside Fire Department Fire Chief Bob Himes recommended banning fireworks altogether.

“I think that that’s something we should at least consider since it is coming from the fire chief,” Austerman said.

Contact Julie Herrmann at jherrmann@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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