Garfield County commissioners to review fireworks ban | PostIndependent.com

Garfield County commissioners to review fireworks ban

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — As the fire danger in Garfield County increases by the day, sans any significant rain, county commissioners are scheduled to review an emergency ban on fireworks sales and use at today's regular Board of County Commissioners meeting.

In early June, local fireworks vendor Ray Cordova asked that the May 6 ordinance prohibiting commercial sales of fireworks as well as use of fireworks by individuals in unincorporated parts of the county be reconsidered. Cordova normally sets up a fireworks stand south of Glenwood Springs in the weeks leading up the July 4th holiday.

At the time he asked that the ban be reconsidered, a reasonably wet period through April and May had lessened the fire danger compared to that same period in 2012 when conditions were tinderbox dry through June.

Since then, however, precious little rain has fallen. Commissioners are expected to hear today from local fire and emergency management officials that the fire danger in Garfield County is again extremely high, as evidenced by several fires that broke out late last week when a dry lightning storm moved through the area, including the Ward Gulch fire north of Rifle.

Commissioners passed the emergency ordinance several weeks ahead of time, on evidence that warm, dry conditions were likely to return with the summer season. The ordinance prohibits the sale of fireworks, even those normally legal under Colorado law, until the ban is lifted.

It also bans the private use of fireworks outside city limits. The ordinance does not prohibit municipal Fourth of July fireworks displays.

Commissioners said at the time the ordinance was passed that, should wet weather return before the holiday, they would reconsider the measure.

Road bid to be decided

Also at today's commissioners meeting, the board will consider awarding a $3.3 million contract to Gould Construction for work on County Road 117 (Four Mile Road) at the intersection with Black Diamond Mine Road.

The project will include a new bridge across Four Mile Creek and realignment of the Black Diamond Mine intersection. However, several residents of the nearby Oak Meadows subdivision and elsewhere along Four Mile Road have objected to a portion of the work involving what's known as "dead man's curve."

At a special work session with the commissioners on June 7, residents said efforts to improve the line of sight around the curve by scaling back the steep rock face may result in a rockfall problem in the future. Residents also said the curve as it exists serves as a natural speed control for traffic on the road, and that the improvements would lead to more speeding problems.

Four Mile Road serves several residential neighborhoods, including Oak Meadows and Sunlight View, as well as the access to Sunlight Mountain Resort, the Sunlight-to-Powderhorn snowmobile trail and the Four Mile Park area.

It has also been proposed by energy company SG Interests as the main haul route should the company be allowed by federal land managers to drill for natural gas in the disputed Thompson Divide area that extends south of the Sunlight area.

The fireworks ordinance and Four Mile Road bid award are on the agenda for the morning session, beginning at 8 a.m. at the county administration building, 108 Eighth St., Glenwood Springs.

The 1 p.m. afternoon session includes consideration and a possible decision whether to adopt the State Highway 82 Access Control Plan for the portion of the highway south of Glenwood Springs to the County Road 154 intersection by Orrison Distributing.

Commissioners will also continue a public hearing on the proposed rewrite of the county's land-use and development code.

jstroud@postindependent.com