Commissioners approve four fireworks applications

Following discussion about commercial and private fireworks shows, BOCCC approve applications 4-1


The Board of Carbon County Commissioners (BOCCC) approved four firework applications during their June 16 meeting, but not without some discussion in regards to equitable enforcement of the process. 

Applications from Brush Creek Ranch, Old Baldy Club, Seminoe and Randy Arnold were all presented to the commissioners by Fire Warden Ron Brown. Brown informed the BOCCC that he had personally visited each site and that they had passed inspection. His only suggestion was that the commissioners wave the $100 fee for Arnold.

“My main question to you is, historically, (with) Mr. Arnold in Saratoga, Chief (John) Rutherford had requested to waive the $100 fireworks fee for Mr. Arnold due to the fact that the fireworks that he does use and sets off are all over-the-counter,” said Brown. “It’s all very, very small stuff. He’s in a huge area for as small of fireworks as he’s using and I would ask if we could continue to waive that fee for Mr. Arnold.”

Commissioner Byron Barkhurst asked Chairman John Johnson and Brown if that waiver would be applied to everybody since an exception was being made for Arnold. Admitting that he wasn’t aware of the whole history, he asked Brown how it was quantified whether the fee could be waived or not.

“I think it is historical and there’s a big difference. The other ones are pretty much commercial and public and they have to have a license to purchase those. A lot of them even have contractors come in and set them off and this is a private party, a private show, that is for his family and he shoots them out over Saratoga Lake,” said Commissioner Sue Jones.

Johnson stated that he wished more people would follow Arnold’s lead and submit an application for a firework permit, even if they asked for a waiver.

“We don’t know what they’re going to be doing and we don’t have the manpower to go out and service the whole area with law enforcement,” said Johnson.

Commissioner John Espy echoed Johnson’s comments, stating that Arnold was saving the county more than $100 by alerting them to his intentions with the fireworks. He added that it was possible the commissioners would need to look at the application and adjust the fee based on commercial versus over-the counter fireworks.

The commissioners approved the four applications, with the waiver for Arnold, 4-1 with Barkhurst providing the dissenting vote.

The next meeting of the Board of Carbon County Commissioners will be at 9 a.m. on July 7 at the Carbon County Courthouse in Rawlins.


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