Fireworks, pool use on Tuesday agenda

By Corene Brisendine

City commissioners plan to discuss restrictions on the use of fireworks, and they’ll also receive a report on the use of aquatics facilities last summer during Tuesday night’s work session.

The fireworks discussion is a follow-up on an Aug. 28 work session at which fire department administrators recommended they be given the authority to ban the sale and use of fireworks if heat, drought or other fire-danger circumstances dictated doing so. The administration also suggested a ban on sky or floating lanterns.

At the time, commissioners wanted to further discuss the possibility of banning aerial fireworks or any fireworks that travel more than six feet in any direction. Tuesday’s discussion is expected to provide that forum.

At the same time, commissioners will listen to feedback from the Riley County Police Department regarding the enforceability of any of those changes. One potential concern is that fireworks considered illegal for use within the city would still be available for purchase at stands outside the city limits.

Part of the discussion will involve any interest in stepping up enforcement of existing restrictions, such as the common but illegal practice of using city streets to set off fireworks.

Curt Loupe, director of Parks and Rec, will give the presentation on the 2012 swim season including financial reports on costs and revenues. Total patronage for all three pools during the summer totaled 128,602. But that total included 100,678 pool admissions, about a four percent decline from 2011. In the written version of his report, Loupe points to oppressive July heat as a possible reason for the reduction in pool usage.

The total revenues for the season, thus far, are $442,864 with a total operations cost of $506,713 creating a $63,848 deficit. Even though the pools operated at a loss this year, city administrators are not recommending an increase in 2013 admission fees because of the attendance decline.

No action will be taken during this meeting because it is a work session. The meeting will be at 5 p.m. in the Commission chambers at City Hall.

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