Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Providence Council talks fireworks, uptown parking

Providence City Council met Monday night with all members present.  City Attorney Richard Peyton read a draft proposal regarding the use of consumer fireworks in the city.  Members of the council have been receiving many complaints of fireworks being set off at all hours of the night in the weeks preceding the 4th of July holiday and continuing throughout recent days.  The proposed ordinance, as read would primarily restrict personal use of fireworks to the week of July 4th, as well as New Year’s Eve, and day.  Also included were fees that might be imposed on local vendors of fireworks. 

While the proposal broadly reflects current Kentucky law, cities have the ability to further refine its features to suit their municipalities.  During this enthusiastic discussion, council members were torn between the actual need to proceed with the formalities of a new local rule, as some felt that laws regarding disturbances of the peace were already in force.  Others were concerned about infringing on residents’ rights to celebrate events throughout the year, as well as the necessity of, or proposed cost of vendor fees.
As points of agreement surfaced, Mayor Eddie Gooch asked Peyton to amend the draft and present it at a future meeting.  Meanwhile, if residents are annoyed by people setting off fireworks at inappropriate times, they should contact the local police department.

In response to a previous complaint on behalf of resident Ms. Ruby Jones, in which her home was uninhabitable due to an unknown odor, Public Works Director Jack Snyder visited her home and directed city crews to conduct a smoke test, and a dye test to try to determine the cause.  Their findings indicated that all water and sewage lines were intact.  Snyder suggested that the problem could be caused by faulty drain traps in the home, or even possibly the results of ground contamination from previous structures in the area.

In public appeals, Councilwoman Dolores Overby asked what type of work was going on with the utility poles.  Mayor Gooch informed the council that Time-Warner was in the process of installing fiber optic lines throughout the city. 

Next, she initiated a discussion regarding Sunday church parking ‘uptown’, and how it appears that with so much street parking being utilized while nearby lots remain empty, that perhaps those with disabilities may be unable to park close to the church. 

Mayor Gooch suggested that they would speak with the pastor and share their concerns.  Next, Councilman Keith Farrell suggested that in the name of transparency, perhaps the local Tourism Commission might provide a quarterly financial statement that would be available for public review.  City Clerk Kay Travis acknowledged that for the most part, that is already being done. 

Finally, Webster County Magistrate Tony Felker made a brief presentation about the “Work Ready Community” program, its importance to the County and invited the Council to take part in an informational session Thursday at the Dixon annex. Meeting was adjourned with next meeting scheduled for August 3rd.

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