Fireworks ordinance changes discussed at Marked Tree council meeting
Among agenda items which included meeting the city sports director and discussing regulations for renting out the armory, the Marked Tree City Council also discussed major changes to the city's fireworks ordinance.
Mayor Mary Ann Arnold said the city received several complaints about the hours people are currently allowed to shoot fireworks.
The current ordinance allows fireworks to be shot from 8 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. on July 3-5, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1-2. After discussion, the council agreed the days and hours should be shortened to 12-10 p.m. on July 4 and 12 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 31. The council also wanted an amendment added stating the police can stop people from shooting fireworks if they are disturbing the peace or if they are damaging other people's property. City Clerk Pam Wright said she would reword the ordinance with the council's changes and bring it to the August meeting for approval.
Regarding the armory, Mayor Arnold said a committee decided the armory will be rented out to groups for use as a community center. She said it would be rented as is, meaning the city would not provide tables or chairs, and use of the kitchen would require an additional fee.
The committee put together a tentative rental agreement for the armory. The agreement includes a $250 deposit, a rental fee of $200 for the first two hours and $50 per hour after that. Additional fees include $50 for use of the kitchen, $50 for the small meeting room and $75 for the large meeting room. The rental agreement also prohibits alcohol from being served.
Some council members thought $200 for two hours was high. Wright said the fees were open for change and were decided on by the committee both to get something on paper to work with and to cover water and electricity costs. The council tabled the matter until the next meeting to give them a chance to review the rental agreement and suggest changes.
The council also met the new sports director for summer activities at the sports complex. Tyler Herring was hired last month on a part-time basis for the position. Herring is Assistant Softball Coach at Williams Baptist College and will be in charge of organizing tournaments for Marked Tree to host.
"I'm already working on tournaments for next year," Herring said. "I want to get a bunch of people down here." In addition to bringing tournaments in, Herring is also planning to do some baseball and softball clinics. He welcomed any ideas from the community.
In other business, the council:
*approved a five year lease agreement with Marked Tree School District for use of the city ball fields. The agreement states the school will exclusively use the fields for baseball and softball from February to May, maintain the fields and pay the city a fee of $1,500. The lease was originally proposed for three years, but both the district and the city were agreeable to a five year lease.
*heard from Joey McCorkle who inquired about using the rail spur. Council members Danny Johnson and Cleo Johnson agreed to meet with him to work out a contract.
*approved opening up Sunday for residential burning. Burning is now allowed during daylight hours every day of the week.
*approved changing the sewer tap fee for commercial property to $140 plus parts and labor.