On a night of multiple agenda items, there was no question that fire hazards and prevention stole the spotlight.
With the Town Manager’s report on Wildland Fire Prevention kicking things off, it seemed only natural that fireworks was another agenda subject that was addressed by many, including staff, council members – and the public.
First, as a matter of complete agreement by all in attendance, the abundance and inherent dangers related to Chamomile poses a serious fire threat that hasn’t been seen, ever – and every precaution was/is being addressed. The public was encouraged to pick up brochures on property zones for clearing, identifying ground cover and other fire prevention advisories and to be aware of the CODE RED link in the event of real trouble.
Tied into this subject matter, was the consideration and discussion regarding ORDINANCE 02017-07, SECTION 130.16, entitled FIREWORKS. The long and short of it was:
1. The pros: “we’ve been doing this for 24 years without incident, it is always with approval from Rural Metro, we’ve reduced the shell size from 5 inches to 2.5 inches, effectively reducing height and carry radius and we acknowledge the economic effect on local business during the slow summer months. Last year, we lost $20,000 due to a late cancellation, or we could have sold the show elsewhere.”
2. The cons: the risk is obvious and it would only take one time, in spite of the history. Different residents related brush fire concerns, incidents of debris and the council’s duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community above all else.
– Rural Metro reported no major issues over the years and cited only a few small ember putouts.
– Regardless of the dialogue, staff insisted that there was no reason to revisit the ordinance because there is a permit scenario that provides criteria for events. In addition, it was pointed out that last year’s show was not canceled – it never had a permit.
– In other business, after a brief presentation, council unanimously approved a community grant of $10,000.00 to the Cave Creek Museum, another presentation was made by representatives of the Cave Creek Rodeo Days, including numerous checks to charities and one to the Town of Cave Creek for over $15,000.00. Declared a “major success,” they marked a significant increase in revenue and all parties were quick to thank all the volunteers that help make these events happen. As far as the “2019 Development Impact Fees Ordinance” was concerned, the most significant note was that there was only one more payment and the town would “own this building and the annex.”
Several additional items were brief and required no action.