By TIM HORAN
An amendment to the resolution banning the sale of fireworks in the county will be among the agenda items at next week’s Dickinson County Commission meeting.
At the regular meeting on Thursday at least two of the commissioners agreed to make changes to the ban to allow the Herington American Legion to sell fireworks at the old lake.
Commissioner Lynn Peterson was not at the county meeting. He attended a meeting at Fort Riley. Brig. Gen. Donald MacWillie, the assistant division commander for support, addressed the public during the open forum meeting at the 1st Infantry Division Headquarters.
Ron Maggard from Herington addressed Commission Chairman LaVerne Myers and Commissioner Craig Chamberlin about fireworks at the lake on the Fourth of July.
He said it was brought up two weeks ago that the community fireworks show at Lake Herington would no longer be funded by the Tri-County Area Chamber of Commerce.
“Myself and several other citizens have put together a foundation, the Herington Foundation Fireworks Fund,” he said. “We are limited on our time here but we want to put the show on, not only this year but to continue it every year, and to keep it out at the lake.”
Maggard is also a member of the American Legion Post 12, which agreed to sell fireworks at its lodge at the lake and use the proceeds to fund the firework show.
“There are quite a few people that shoot fireworks off at the lake,” he said. “The city comes out and ropes off an area. They get a permit and let kids shoot off fireworks and there is a pretty good show put on at the lake.”
Herington’s lake is owned by the City of Herington but it is not in the city limits and is part of rural Dickinson County.
“We are definitely under the county regulations for that,” he said.
The county has a ban on the sale of fireworks unless an incorporated city opts out of the ban.
“My question: is there any way we can do something?” he said. “We would like to be able to save our fireworks show and a big factor would be selling these fireworks because we would donate all the proceeds to the firework fund.
“We are doing a lot of other things,” Maggard added. “We have a silent auction. Everyone in town is collecting cans. We’ve only been in existence 14 days and I think we’re up to $2,200.”
It was brought up at the last Herington City Commission meeting that $6,500 was needed to fund the firework show.
Myers and Chamberlin were both in favor of a change.
“We do have a resolution that was passed a number of years ago that allows for the discharge of fireworks, but it hasn’t any conditions in it for the sale of fireworks,” said County Administrator Brad Homman. “I can’t tell you why that is. I am assuming we have not had any requests for that. Fireworks have only been sold within the incorporated city limits of communities in the county. I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t amend that resolution to include commercial sales.”
There are other counties that allow for the sale of fireworks, he said. To make the change would require an amendment to the current resolution.
“Some of the things that were recommended for consideration: that it be controlled and there be some regulations in place; whoever the vendor is, have liability insurance; that it not be within so many feet of a residence; things like that which are common sense issues. I know of no reason why we couldn’t allow it.”
The fireworks would be sold at the legion building which is located at the lake.
“I do like the idea that the building can be locked,” Myers said. “If you are just setting up a tent, somebody has to be there.”
“Not only that,” Maggard added. “The legion commander has a fifth wheel adjacent to our building and he and his wife are there 24/7. And it, of course, can be locked. Myself, that time of year, will be camping within 1000 feet of the building.”
Maggard also said that some high school students have agreed to volunteer services.
“Herington High School now has a requirement for seniors before they can graduate, starting next year to have to do so many hours of community service,” he said. “They have asked if they could come out and help us, of course with adults around. The American Legion has just taken it upon itself to police the area and clean everything up the next day. We are going to get kids to help us, too, and it gives them credits.”
“As long as we can jump through the hoops, I think it is a great idea,” said Chamberlin. “And not make the hoops too high.”
In his report to the commission, Homman said that an issue came up at the Detroit Sewer project. Five wells have been drilled in the area and none have come up with enough water to test the lagoons.
A neighbor has a well that can pump enough water but is located south of the railroad tracks. The county will be contacting the railroad for permission to run a hose through a culvert under the tracks for the testing.
The commission also:
* approved the consent agenda which included the minutes of the April 11 meeting, $259,94 in abatements, $7.44 in added tax and $3,084.73 in wire payments;
* approved a support letter for the Eisenhower Foundation;
* approved the advertisement for the position of a county EMT.