City OKs fireworks funds

By Kevin Wilson: Quay County Sun

City officials have no problem with the July 4 fireworks display scheduled by the Tucumcari Elks Lodge, nor do they have a problem contributing.

The key is that the organization, and all citizens, be aware of dangerous fire conditions during the holiday, as Commissioner Jim Witcher said during Thursday’s regular Commission meeting.

A short meeting was highlighted by Elks Lodge requesting city support for its annual fireworks presentation. Phillip Griggs, the chairman of the event for the Elks Lodge, said members were well aware of the county’s dry conditions and they will have protective measures in place.

“I assure you we will have employees from four or five local fire departments around the lodge,” Griggs said. “If anything were to happen, we’re covered.”

Commissioners unanimously voted to give $2,500 in matching funds to the lodge. The funds were already in the city budget for that purpose, and commissioners said the organization gives a much greater amount back to the city in scholarships for students and other community service projects.

City Manager Richard Primrose said the city burn ban did not include any specific mention of fireworks. Witcher asked Primrose about the possibility of a ban that addresses specific types of fireworks more prone to give off sparks that could start grass fires. The sooner the ban went public, Witcher said, the more time the city would have to address fireworks sellers with their concerns.

In other business:

• Commissioners approved the appointment of museum board member Danny Bill Wallace to replace James Lerke.

• May 20 was proclaimed Buddy Poppies Day.

• Mayor Mary Mayfield reminded citizens to stay optimistic regarding the First Street Project, which has eliminated traffic access to Main Street and slowed down travel on the street, particularly at the intersection of First Street and Tucumcari Boulevard.

Mayfield said citizens should keep in mind the project will include new sewer and phone systems, along with a new street, and will be worth the inconvenience. One reason for traffic backup at First and Tucumcari, Mayfield said, is when motorists have to wait for a vehicle to turn left — and traffic flow could be quicker if left turns were temporarily outlawed only on that intersection.