Marked Tree Council leaves fireworks ordinance as is

Monday, August 18, 2014

Last month, the Marked Tree City Council discussed the possibility of revising the fireworks ordinance to limit the times fireworks may be shot after receiving complaint over the July 4th holiday.

During August's regular meeting Monday night, the council reviewed a proposed ordinance put together based on suggestions they made during the last meeting. The new ordinance would have limited the times fireworks may be shot to July 4 from noon to 10 p.m. and Dec. 31 from noon to 12:30 a.m. The original ordinance allows for fireworks to be shot from 8 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. on July 3-5, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1-2.

"The way this is worded, we're taking away a lot," Alderman Shane Glenn said. "Are we turning the city into a retirement home?"

The council voted unanimously to stay with the original ordinance.

The council also heard from Joey McCorkle regarding his request for the right to use the Awesome Products rail spur for a future grain shipping business. After some discussion about the McCorkle's plans, Mayor Mary Ann Arnold asked him to draw up a business plan to bring to the next meeting while the city will write a lease agreement. Mayor Arnold also added Michael Scott to the committee, which includes Danny Johnson and Cleo Johnson, which is to meet with McCorkle.

The council also discussed truck drivers driving through neighborhoods, possibly because their GPS is leading them through local streets, and the new Code Enforcement Officer, Soozi Williams.

During a heated discussion, alderman Shane Glenn asked about the code enforcement officer's duties and questioned the need for the position. Glenn said he wanted to know why the city was paying an extra salary while he believed the city attorney, police and other city employees could do the duties required of a code enforcement officer. Earlier in the meeting, Glenn had said he would like to see the police start checking all the water meters too while they were out on patrol.

City Clerk Pam Wright explained the code enforcer's job duties and said city employees do not have the time to follow up on everything required to do the job well. "Why don't you let us try this and see if it works? She's been on the job for one month," Wright said. "None of us have the time to do it the right way." Police Chief Chester Ford and City Attorney Jobi Teague agreed.

"We're getting some things accomplished, and if you give us more time, we can get more done," Mayor Arnold told Glenn. "It takes time to do these, but we've already got one burned house down." Mayor Arnold said another property owner, who hasn't been in Marked Tree for 19 years, had deeded his property to the city after being tracked down, and the property was cleaned up in a weekend.

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