Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | May 24, 2018

Council approves fireworks ordinance

City to revise no parking signs for South D Street
By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | May 15, 2018

The Fairfield City Council put the finishing touches on the fireworks ordinance it has debated for several months.

At its meeting Monday, the council passed the third reading of the ordinance on a 3-2 vote with an amendment extending the discharge days from July 4 to include July 3 as well.

Councilor Katy Anderson proposed amending the ordinance to include the extra day, prompted in part by the absence of fellow councilor Martha Rasmussen. Rasmussen was unable to attend the meeting, but had previously expressed a desire to extend the allowable discharge days.

Councilor Tom Thompson seconded Anderson’s motion. He said Independence Day is an important date in the nation’s history, and fireworks provide a fun activity to do with grandchildren.

Anderson and Thompson were joined by councilor Doug Flournoy in voting in favor of the amendment to include July 3. Councilors Michael Halley and Paul Gandy voted against the amendment.

The ordinance will permit discharging fireworks on those two days in July and on the night of Dec. 31. Last year’s ordinance allowed residents to discharge fireworks from June 30 to July 8, and from Dec. 30 to Jan. 2.

Resident LaVon Hostetler said she hoped the council would limit the discharge days, saying “the fewer, the better.”

“I don’t have a dog, a baby, or PTSD, but if I did, I would not like to hear something going off that sounds like a bomb,” she said.

While at the microphone, Hostetler took the opportunity to tell the council that many people wish the city’s fireworks were shot off at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. She said there’s more parking available at the fairgrounds, and it would allow residents of SunnyBrook Assisted Living to see the fireworks, too.

She recommended the city switch every year between discharging the fireworks at Waterworks Park and discharging them at the fairgrounds.

To Hostetler’s earlier point about the loud and troublesome noises the fireworks cause, Mayor Ed Malloy said the public went overboard last year in discharging so many fireworks because it was the first time in 80 years that they were legal.

 

South D Street

Resident Dorothy Drees spoke in opposition to the council’s plan to put no parking signs along the west side of South D Street. The council voted in favor of the idea at its April 23 meeting. The purpose was to relieve traffic congestion, particularly before and after school when the road is busy.

Drees said that if residents can no longer park on South D, some will have to incur large costs enlarging their driveways. She said some homeowners can’t expand their driveways.

“Limiting the parking, or requiring people to park on their front lawns, could decrease property values,” she said. “Without the street parking, visitors would have to block in other cars or block the alley.”

Drees said vehicles will travel even faster on the road if there are no parked cars to worry about.

“Kids play in the front yard and side yards across the street from me, and this would be more unsafe for them,” she said. “Two of my neighbors and I have lost cats to yahoos speeding on the street to get through the light.”

Halley said the transportation committee met before the council meeting and decided the best solution was, on the portion of South D between Madison and Jackson, to prohibit parking during select hours. Those hours would be from 7:30-8:30 a.m. and 3-4 p.m.

“That will ease the congestion during pick up and drop off at school, but not at the other times,” Halley said. “The committee is going to recommend that. We will table the resolution as written since it does not include that recommendation.”

Halley said the committee still wants to add “no parking anytime” signs on South D from Burlington to Adams avenues.

“We know it’s an inconvenience to the property owners, and I’ve spoken to several, but for that section, we feel there’s no alternative. Public safety is our top priority,” he said.

 

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