Update: Templeton leaders pass firework restrictions
Update posted Nov. 4, 2015
–On Tuesday night, the Templeton Community Services District approved an ordinance that will reduce the number of fireworks booths from eight to four, require booth permit holder be non-profits based in Templeton, and create a lottery system for filling the four slots, with preference given to organizations who have held permits in years past. The vote was 3-2, with board members Wayne Petersen and Gwen Pelfrey opposed.
Original story posted Oct. 8, 2015
–By Teresa Turner and Skye Ravy
– On Tuesday, the Templeton Community Services District approved an introduction to an ordinance that, if approved at its second reading, would reduce the number of fireworks booths from eight to four, require booth permit holder be non-profits based in Templeton, and create a lottery system for filling the four slots, with preference given to organizations who have held permits in years past. The ordinance also allows a fee for permits to be established by resolution to cover the costs of administering the fireworks program. The second reading will be on the board’s next agenda.
Fireworks became a hot subject since the fear of fire has been a concern with the lingering drought plus a couple of dumpster fires that occurred by fireworks that were not watered down. A workshop was held on July 21, 2015, to address the concern citizens who were for or against the sale and use of safe and sane fireworks. In July, Interim Fire Chief Bill White presented recommendations such as:
- Limiting the number of booths and creating a lottery system
- Shorter sales periods
- Limit the areas of which fireworks can be used
- Increase fees, booth inspections, law enforcement
- Discontinue the use and sale of fireworks in the district
The board decided to have the staff not only look into the White’s suggestions but also to:
- Allow non-profit groups only
- Implement an advertising/education campaign
- Establish safety zones within the district boundaries
- Impose fines for violators
The amendment would also include that:
- The number of booths is limited to four and a lottery system will be effective if the applications exceed the available booths
- Applications are limited to non-profit that operate, benefit, or provide service inside the district boundaries
- Lieutenant Commander of the Templeton Sheriff’s Substation will enforce next year to have deputies cite individuals using illegal fireworks
A few of the non-profits attended to give their comments for the upcoming changes. Roy Spinks of the Celebration Worship Center stated that he was concerned about the lottery system and that the organization relies heavily on the funds raised and it could be a loss if they were not able to have a fireworks booth. Jeff Briltz, TCSD General Manager replied that they were still working out the kinks in the lottery system which could include ‘grandfathering’ in long standing non-profits.
The ordinance would only allow non-profits in the district boundaries. Guy Drummond, the youth pastor for the Christian Life Center of Paso Robles said, “Thank you for 25 years of funds that the fireworks booth provided to our organization. It’s all about the children.”