Council discusses changes to fireworks ordinance

LINGLE – The Lingle Town Council convened for a regular meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. in the Lingle Community Center. In attendance were Mayor George Siglin, Councilman Steve Edwardson, Councilman Joe Welte, Councilman A.J. Lambert, Councilwoman Brandie Cook, Clerk-Treasurer Ritch Reyes and two Lingle citizens.

Under a prospective change to the existing fireworks ordinance presented by Siglin, Lingle residents would be permitted to display fireworks from noon to midnight July 3-5, and on New Year’s Eve from 10 p.m. to midnight. The currently enacted ordinance allows Lingle residents to light fireworks between the hours of 8 a.m. and midnight July 3-5 but prohibits the discharge of fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

Lingle resident Lois Tobin asked Siglin to consider moving the cutoff time for the discharge of fireworks on New Year’s Eve to 12:30 a.m. or 1 a.m.

“If you have it stopping at midnight instead of one o’clock, you’re going to still have people shooting them off,” Tobin said. “They’re going to shoot them right at midnight, right at a little after.”

Tobin recommended the council consider changing the allowable times from 10 p.m. to midnight to 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Cook concurred with Tobin regarding the extension.

“Right at the stroke of midnight, they want to be busting them off,” Cook said.

Siglin said he had spoken with Lingle Police Chief Endra Andrews about the matter. Siglin said Andrews told him she usually gives residents leeway for about 10-15 minutes before she begins enforcing the ordinance.

“I think with the constable we have in place now, I think we can get by with the wording of ending at 12 midnight, if she gives that little bit of leeway,” Edwardson said.

Edwardson told the council he was concerned with the wording proposed as a future officer may not be willing to allow the leeway and could lead to issues and future discussions of the ordinance’s stipulations.

Cook and Edwardson concurred with Tobin that there needed to be a buffer on New Year’s Eve due to the fact that most people will want to discharge their fireworks at midnight. The council decided unanimously to change the wording of the ordinance to allow fireworks to be discharged from noon to midnight July 3-5 and 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 31. This would serve as the first reading of Ordinance No. 351.

The council also voted unanimously to approve an ordinance which would update the existing ordinance governing tobacco and nicotine sales and usage to prohibit tobacco and nicotine sales, possession and usage by persons under 21 years of age. The change comes after the Wyoming Legislature enacted a law in July 2020 preventing the usage, possession and purchasing of tobacco and nicotine products by persons under the age of 21. This would serve as the first reading of Ordinance No. 350.

Edwardson presented the bills with expenditures amounting $92,323.23 and revenues amounting to $166,733.18. He said these numbers provided for a margin of $74,409.95 in January and a margin of $125,472.36 for the fiscal year. The bills were unanimously approved.

Reyes told the council he had finished with the completion and submission of several reports to the state regarding a town audit, facility licensures and Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Welte asked the council to consider establishing a means of controlling the traffic in the alley behind the community center. Welte said he had met another person head-on in the alley a while back and the alley was too narrow for the vehicles to pass safely.

The council decided this was not a pressing and often encountered issue; therefore, they chose to leave the alley as-is.

Siglin told the council the Lingle Community Center was dedicated Feb. 6, 2020. The country was then shutdown on March 6 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s been a good building and people who have got a chance to use it really liked it,” Siglin said. “I haven’t heard anything bad about anybody who’s used it.”

Siglin is optimistic more people will begin using the building in the future after the COVID-19 pandemic has settled down, people are healthier and the imposed restrictions are lifted. Cook added there was a wedding booked and people are still looking to use the facility.

Siglin told the council the direct distribution payment from the state, made out of the legislative reserve’s stabilization account, had been passed at a reduced budget. The budget was previously $105 million but is now a slightly higher than $94 million.

Siglin said there was an agreement reached earlier in the regular session where the Wyoming Association of Municipalities and Wyoming County Commissioners Association agreed to a $5 million cut instead of the $10 million cut.

With the cuts, Siglin said the town would lose approximately $9,000 every six months. Siglin expressed his disappointment in a locally elected Goshen County representative from the Wyoming state Senate who agreed to the cuts to the municipalities.

“It’s very disappointing,” Siglin said.


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