Village Council extends fireworks ban

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The village council extended a ban on fireworks in the municipality at an emergency meeting on Tuesday, July 3, then rescinded that ban at a meeting on Thursday, July 5.

The original ban, which was implemented on June 4, was for 30 days and would have ended on midnight, July 4. Since the danger of fire was still high in the county due to drought conditions, the council voted to extend the ban with the stipulation to rescind it if enough rain came to bring down the fire danger. It rained all day on the July 4 and all day on July 5, said Village Clerk Rita Broaddus, and the council decided to allow the sale and use of fireworks in the village.

At the Tuesday meeting, which was a public hearing, one fireworks vendor offered a differing opinion than the council. The vendor, Ramon Gutierrez, explained that consumers were going out of town to buy fireworks and that he really could only sell his product in a small window of time.

“The Fourth is my business day,” he said, adding that the village would miss out on the sales tax from his business.

Because of this, he asked the council to allow the ban to end at midnight on the holiday.

“I told a lot of people from Alamo that I might be selling fireworks on Thursday,” he said Tuesday. It seems he was able to get his wish after all.

Once it became clear at the Tuesday meeting that the ban would be extended, Gutierrez asked that the council only ban the use of fireworks in the village, not the sale of them. This way, he explained, buyers would have to wait to use them until the ban was lifted but the village would still benefit from the sales.

The ordinance banning fireworks, which is only in effect when the council issues a proclamation activating it, was for both the sale and use of fireworks; it is not an either/or situation. Also, the council couldn’t change the ordinance, said Broaddus. Gutierrez said the council hasn’t implemented a ban in other drought years.

Fire Chief Donna Dawson told the council her department has had several complaints about rockets on U.S. Forest Service roads. Broaddus clarified that the ban was only in effect in the village limits.

Trustees Barbara Baca and Tommy Torres voted against extending the ban, while Trustee Donna Dawson and Mayor Pro Tem Diane Allen voted for it. Mayor Sandy Julian, who told the vendor her decision had nothing to do with his business, decided to extend the ban until it rained a sufficient amount.

That sufficient amount came on Wednesday, July 4, and Thursday, July 5, the day of the meeting to rescind the ban. Broaddus said the rain in Magdalena has been substantial and will probably continue through the weekend.