Council changes meeting day and time, enacts fireworks ban

KINGMAN - With one of its biggest agendas in months, the Kingman City Council tackled a number of issues at Monday evening's three-hour-plus meeting.

Council voted 7-0 to approve a consent agenda item authorizing the city to use $20,000 in Colorado River Water contingency funds to help pay for the development of a groundwater flow model for the Sacramento, Hualapai and Detrital basins.

A vote earlier in the day by the Mohave County Board of Supervisors authorizing another $20,000 for the same purpose had been contingent on Council's successful vote.

Council also voted to change its regular meeting date and time to 5:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of every month, beginning Sept. 21. Members agreed that the time shift would allow the City Clerk's office an additional weekday to place emergency items on the agenda if need be, and it would also bring Kingman's City Council meeting dates in accordance with Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City. Members also agreed that the shift to 5:30 instead of 6 p.m. would keep city staff from having to linger for a full hour after the official close of business prior to Council meetings.

Council unanimously approved adding BMX racing tracks as an acceptable use under a conditional use permit in the Recreational Open Space (O) zoning district. The vote follows recent efforts by both BMX enthusiasts and concerned local citizens to establish a BMX track at the Mohave County Fairgrounds. Proponents of the move have argued that such a track would be a boon for local children as well as a destination for fellow enthusiasts and competitors from around the county and region.

Finally, Council voted to impose a citywide ban on the use of personal fireworks following a recent vote by the state Legislature to allow the sale and use of some fireworks in Arizona. The ban does not affect supervised public fireworks displays, nor does it impact the personal use of certain novelty items such as party poppers, though it does prohibit sparklers due to the fire risk.

The vote comes as the response to a marked increase in the amount of personal firework use seen in Kingman this past Fourth of July, according to Kingman Fire Chief Chuck Ostermann. During Monday's meeting, Ostermann noted that the city may ban only the use of fireworks, not the sale or possession of them, which will require public notice to be put up at retailers who do begin selling fireworks, to clear up some of the public confusion over what can and cannot be done with them. Such language was included in the ordinance passed by Council.