Manhattan City Commission: Fireworks Over Fireworks

Fireworks were on the agenda for the Manhattan City Commission meeting on Tuesday night, and the meeting had its share of explosive debates as the commission took on the issue at city hall.

The commission heard from Fire Service Director Jerry Snyder on a new proposal to ban a certain type of firework called flying lanterns and proposing a new way of controlling situational bans on fireworks in the city with a joint decision from the mayor and city emergency staff.

Commissioner Jim Sherow would like to see a ban on all fireworks for safety’s sake, and  believes Manhattan’s public display is sufficient for the celebration.  Sherow pointed out the recent house fire as an example of the risk of using fireworks in the city limits.

Commissioner John Matta disagreed, and believes fireworks are an important part of the season’s festivities.  Matta used the example of high school football, and how risk is inherent in many activities enjoyed by the community.

The commission also heard the annual Aquatic Facilities report which laid out problems with lifeguard staffing, but a better turn out over the operating season.  Parks and Recreation Director Curt Loupe informed the commission of staffing problems which made a proposed prolonged pool operating season problematic.  However, Loupe said he will look into possible solutions to bring before the commission at a later date.

In a special session the commission approved the issuance of general obligation refunding bonds at a new lower rate which should save the city over $300,000 in the life of the bonds.