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Price City fire chief will decide on fireworks use, council says

Sun Advocate publisher

The Price City Council voted on Thursday morning to approve two new city ordinances regarding fireworks within the city limits. In doing so they repealed the old ordinance which had stood in place for years.

The new ordinances gives a great deal more leeway to the city's fire chief on what he or she can designate as unsafe conditions.

The two ordinances follow Governor Gary Herbert's suggestions that cities and towns look to the new ordinances that originated with the Utah League of Cities and Towns for control of fireworks and open fires.

Under the new ordinances two things are very clear:

First, at no time shall anyone set off fireworks within 150 feet of an undeveloped piece or property or within 150 feet of any urban-wildland interface (basically the edge of town).

Second, the fire chief can designate what areas anywhere in town where fireworks cannot be lit. He or she could designate parts of town or possibly even the entire town for a certain period of time.

The key note in the ordinance is that it follows Utah Law in allowing fireworks, and under that people can set them off in the non specified areas, as long as the area hasn't been designated by the chief as an area where they can be used. In other words if there is no one saying no, it is a yes.

The morning meeting took a little over one half hour to get the ordinances passed, but two hours of discussion on the matter took place on Wednesday night during the regular council meeting that was held.

The vote on the ordinances was a 3-2 vote, with Rick Davis and Kathy Smith voting against the new rules.

"I just thought there should be at total ban for this year," said Smith after the meeting. "I just think by watching what we are going through right now shows that for this year we should not allow fireworks. I wanted us to follow what the county did and others."

The two ordinances take effect basically immediately, although some parts are not applicable until July 1, 2012.

The Sun Advocate tried to contact Price Fire Chief Paul Bedont concerning his feeling about the new ordinance, but he was unavailable for comment at the time.

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