The Carthage City
Council during Tuesdays meeting did not
approve an ordinance that would have lifted the
ban on fireworks within the City limits. The
ordinance, if approved, would have made legal the
discharge of fireworks within the City during the
week of July 4th and on New Years Eve.
During its first reading the ordinance was tabled
to allow for more discussion and public input.
Tuesdays meeting several citizens were
present to voice their opinions. Citizen Ivan
Hager spoke against allowing fireworks in the
City, saying he was worried about fire risks.
Hager said allowing the discharge of fireworks
would increase visits to the emergency room and
calls to the fire department.
rockets are a menace to society and especially to
homes here in Carthage," said Hager.
Hager also spoke
against the idea that the current ordinance was
"We have a
good situation now," said Hager.
"Its not perfect. We dont
enforce speeding laws perfectly either, but they
(Police) do a good job in both cases."
Evans also spoke against allowing fireworks,
saying that she opposed the noise and the trash
"I would like
to keep it quiet," said Evans.
Calvin expressed concerns about fire risks to
Council, saying that it is usually dry and hot in
"If you allow
fireworks in the City youre going to work
the Fire Department to death," said Calvin.
Newman said she did not oppose the sale of
fireworks within City limits, an item which was
brought for consideration at the same time, but
stated that she felt an entire week of fireworks
would not be in the best interest of the City.
Johnson distributed a map to Council members
which displayed Carthage with markings of
600 radius circles around all churches,
schools and hospitals in the City. Johnson said
that State statutes prohibit the discharge of
fireworks within these vicinities, and that
attempting to enforce these divisions may be
its difficult to enforce," said
Johnson. "When you start dividing the
streets its going to be pretty well
citizens participation Council member Mike Harris
made a motion to vote on the ordinance allowing
the sale of fireworks in the City. The motion was
Harris also made a
motion to vote on the ordinance allowing the
discharge of fireworks, which received a second
from Diane Sharits. The ordinance was defeated 7
to 3. Those in favor of allowing fireworks
included; Mike Harris, Cynthia Curry and Diane
Sharits. Those against included; Bill Johnson,
Bill Welch, Tom Flanigan, Dan Rife, Claude
Newport, Larry Ross and Bill Fortune.
and City Staff also bid farewell to Police Chief
Dennis Veach and welcomed interim Chief Barry
Duncan. Veach is leaving Carthage to accept a
position as Chief of Police in Sachse, Texas. It
was his final Council meeting.
The City Council
on Tuesday heard much citizen input concerning
the return of an ordinance which, if approved,
would rezone property at 1926 S. Garrison from
"A" First Dwelling and "D"
Local Business to "E" General Business.
As reported in
Tuesdays Mornin Mail, the proposed
rezoning has been brought before Council and
rejected several times, the last of which was in
August of this year. Citizens who live near the
property have historically opposed the rezoning,
which would allow for the sale of liquor by the
Kessinger, a neighbor to the property in
question, told the Council that he opposed the
rezoning. Kessinger said that the request to
rezone the property had been defeated many times,
even preceding requests by current owner Vince
Scott. Kessinger said that the neighbors to the
property had not been notified of this latest
rezoning request and questioned how many times
the item could be brought before Council.
"In order to
get this issue laid to rest, do we need to take
this to a vote of the people?" asked
Williams told Council that he had opposed the
rezoning because he was not in favor of a liquor
Citizen Ivan Hager
urged Council members to vote against the
rezoning, saying he felt the purpose of the
rezoning was to help the property sell, and that
he didnt feel that was the responsibility
of the Council. Hager added that he did not
approve of the proximity of a residential
neighborhood to an establishment that could sell
liquor by the drink.
City a small town, where its a pleasure to
walk down the street and raise kids," said
Corley also questioned why the item had been
returned to Council after being defeated in
August. Corley asked the Council to vote against
the rezoning, citing concerns about a decrease in
property values in the neighborhood if the
ordinance was approved.
Corley also said
that a rezoning would little control over future
use of the building if it sold.
During the first
reading of the ordinance the Council members
heard a presentation by Dick Barge, who
represented property owner Vince Scott. Barge
spoke at length about a wide variety of topics,
including traffic trends, business growth and new
developments in Carthage. Barge said that with
the completion of the Fairview Interchange, the
neighborhood in question would likely have
Barge said that
Carthage was shifting and becoming a larger city
with more businesses.
"It may not
be desirable," said Barge, "but
urbanization is a fact of life."
several proposed stipulations to the rezoning
which would allow for some control measures over
what types of business could operate from the
property, including a mandatory percentage split
between alcohol sales and food sales. Barge said
that this measure would help ensure that the
business was a "restaurant" and not a
"bar or tavern." Barge also recommended
a privacy fence at the back alley of the
property, which would force traffic to enter and
exit the business using the street.
Only a few Council
members discussed the ordinance following the
presentation. Council member Bill Welch noted
that at one point a Special Use Permit had been
approved for the property, which had allowed for
some stipulations similar to those which were
being proposed currently.
Director Chad Wampler said that the alcohol and
food percentage split would help regulate the use
of the property without "opening a can of
worms" for any future operators.
The item will
return for its second reading and a vote at the
next Council meeting, to be held November 27.