Ordinance No. 917, which would have permitted the sale of fireworks in Devils Lake around the Christmas and New Year's holidays, was swiftly rejected by the commission Monday night after a wave of negative public input.
It was a slam-dunk decision.
The Devils Lake City Commission elected not to approve Ordinance No. 917 in a unanimous decision on Monday evening, a measure that would have permitted the sale of fireworks in Devils Lake around the Christmas and New Year's holidays, and according to mayor Richard Johnson, it was the decision that the public desired.
During the meeting, Johnson and other commissioners alluded to the number of letters, calls and emails they received over the last few weeks regarding the ordinance, and the public consensus was clear: no new firework sales.
"We heard the message loud and clear, and we delivered by not passing this ordinance tonight," Johnson said. "All the input we got was very helpful, and we feel good about that. It makes a big difference."
Johnson urges the public to continue to be vocal in their opinions regarding key issues like this, because in this case, it directly influenced the commission's decision.
The public's voice was heard on Monday, and that's always a good thing.
"The system worked tonight," Johnson said. "A lot of times when we do things, we don't get a lot of public input. But it's very encouraging when we do, and tonight, this decision was a slam dunk."
A Devils Lake resident appeared before the commission with concerns regarding over the speed limit on Hwy. 20.
Casper Beck, who makes his home at the north end of Devils Lake, requested that the 30 MPH speed limit be stretched further north along the highway, because, according to him, the noise caused by accelerating vehicles near his home is very disruptive, especially at 5 a.m, as Mr. Beck alluded to. He feels that if cars are forced to observe a lesser speed limit for a longer period of time, the noise caused by sudden acceleration would be less of a nuisance.
City engineer Mike Grafgaard informed Mr. Beck that such a change would need to be prompted by the Department of Transportation. Grafsgaard did, however, agree to meet with DOT officials in the future to discuss the possibility of stretching the 30 MPH zone on Hwy. 20.
Johnson was sympathetic to Mr. Beck’s concerns and agreed that something ought to be done, not only with a possible speed limit change, but also with the stricter enforcement of the city's noise ordinance, which has been a frequent topic of conversation for the Commission in recent weeks.
New officer sworn in
Justin Posterick, the newest member of the Devils Lake Police Department, was officially sworn in on Monday. Posterick is just a few days on the job having started with the DLPD on Oct. 15. This is his first experience serving as a professional law enforcement officer.
DLFD to hold public meeting
Fire chief Jim Moe will meet with local landlords on Nov. 5 to discuss Ordinance No. 902, which mandates a Fire Department inspection of all rental properties in Devils Lake.
The ordinance specifically states that no dwelling house, apartment or other property shall be occupied by a renter "unless or until a certificate of tenancy has been issued by the City of Devils Lake Fire Department."
The public meeting, according to fire chief Jim Moe, is meant to be a general Q and A session with renters and property owners regarding enforcement of Ordinance No. 902.
Again, that meeting will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5, and Fire Department inspections of rental properties are scheduled to begin after the start of the new year.
The Devils Lake city surplus sale brought in $8,700.
The City Commission will meet next in two weeks at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 4 at the Devils Lake City Offices.