In the wake of Stage 2 fire restrictions throughout much of western Colorado and at the urging of Mayor Ron Austin, Delta City Council reconsidered the sale and use of personal fireworks at its June 18 meeting. The meeting was held one night earlier than usual due to a Colorado Municipal League conference in Vail which many council members planned to attend.
When the resolution was initially considered on June 5, it failed on a 4-1 vote, with Gerald Roberts casting the dissenting vote. At that meeting, and in the intervening weeks, the Delta Police Department and the Delta Volunteer Fire Department have repeatedly expressed concerns about the use of personal fireworks, given the high fire danger in and around the city.
At the June 18 meeting, council members raised many of the same issues they discussed two weeks earlier, but this time voted 4-1 to ban both the use and sale of personal fireworks in the city. Mayor Austin cast the "nay" vote because he was open to the sale of fireworks, but not the use.
Other council members said that would just be confusing. "It becomes kind of hypocritical to allow them to be sold, but not used," said council member Gerald Roberts.
The ban extends to the temporary permits granted to fireworks stands, which in years past have been operated at Safeway and Walmart. The sale of fireworks is the main fundraiser for the youth of the Rivers Church (formerly the Assembly of God). Council member Nathan Clay recognized the impact on the youth, saying it was unfortunate the council's decision would take away those revenues. "That was a very heavy consideration for most of us," he said. "That isn't something I take lightly, but at the same time ..."
The council's decision will not affect the 4th of July fireworks display presented in Confluence Park by the Delta Volunteer Fire Department.
In other business, council members appointed Ryan Crick to the planning commission to fill the term of Arla Nelson. Crick was one of three applicants interviewed by the council on June 5.
The use of the city-owned parking lot was granted to Hoolie's for its annual motorcycle show July 7.
Wilma Erven, director of parks, recreation and culture, provided an update on the wellness pool repairs. With the assistance of American Leak Detection, a leak was finally located in a surge pump. Repairs have been made and the wellness pool has re-opened.
Betsy Suerth, public works director, reported the storm system improvements at the intersection of 1st and Palmer are on track.
The election results are in at the local, state and national level, and as expected, Democrats are doing well in state and national races. Colorado has elected Jared Polis as governor; nationally the Republicans appear to retain control of the Senate while Democrats now control the House of Representative.
With a ballot full of local and state measures, voter turnout in Delta County topped 71%, with 15,889 ballots cast. Statewide, voter turnout was just over 52%.
Of the three Delta County residents seeking state offices, Matt Soper won over Thea Chase in State Representative Dist. 54; Mike Mason lost to Julie McCluskie in State Representative Dist. 61; and Olen Lund lost to Kerry Donovan in State Senate Dist. 5.
Locally, in the City of Delta voters rejected a .5% sales tax increase to fund recreation, as well as recreational marijuana sales. The sale of medical marijuana and cultivation/manufacturing facilities was approved by a slim margin. Delta voters also gave the city the green light to move forward with selling or trading the Cottonwood and Riverbend Park, and to sell the old Municipal Light and Power Building.