County Judge Dean Fowler said Saturday that Commissioners James Crittenden and Lloyd Crabtree had the matter placed on the agenda.
Crittenden said Tuesday that state law set a Dec. 14 deadline for banning the use and/or sale of fireworks during the holiday season, and the court wasn’t scheduled to meet after today until Dec. 15.
“So it has to be discussed at this meeting,” he said, although he added that “I can’t anticipate either one (a ban on sale or use) at this stage of the game” because of recent rain, he said.
Last summer, he said, persons bought fireworks to use July 4 and then couldn’t do so until a fireworks ban was lifted, which didn’t occur till after the holiday. He said the potential ban was being discussed this time to avoid a repeat of persons buying fireworks for the holidays, only to be unable to use them then.
“I hope they’ll be able to use them,” said Crittenden, who said the potential ban was being raised as a precaution.
The Mirror unsuccessfully attempted to reach Crabtree for comment Monday and Tuesday.
County Fire Marshal Paul Steelman said Monday he knew nothing about the proposed ban, and Pct. 2 Comm. Cole Hefner said Monday he would not support such a ban, especially since the county received rain this past weekend. The commissioners court lifted a months-long rural burn ban Nov. 18—less than two weeks ago.
Hefner said nobody had discussed with him why they wanted such a ban. “The best I can figure is, it’s just a precaution to discuss it” because Dec. 14 is the deadline for imposing such a ban, and the court’s next regular meeting after today is Dec. 15, Hefner noted.
The court meets on the third floor of the Upshur County Courthouse.
Another major matter on its 11-item agenda is authorizing Fowler to execute the grant application for the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Grant.
Other major items on the agenda include approval of the Road and Bridge Department’s Sign Assessment Program, designating the courthouse’s south entrance as a non-smoking area, approving a resolution concerning taxation of goods-in-transit, and purchasing chairs for the communications office in the Sheriff’s Office.
The court is also scheduled to consider a resolution of support for the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program.
Hefner said Tuesday he was “completely against” the taxation of goods-in-transit, which he said would allow taxation of items that sit in a warehouse or on a yard while in transit from manufacturer to consumer.