Burn ban squeaks past county commissioners

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Roosevelt County commissioners narrowly passed a year-round burn ban Tuesday that can be lifted during favorable conditions.

The ordinance passed by a 3-2 vote during Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Roosevelt County Commission.

Some concerns were raised during the public hearing portion of the meeting as to the effectiveness of the burn ban.

Milnesand Fire Chief John Mohon wondered what would happen if someone is issued a permit and the weather changes before the burn is initiated.

“There are a lot of fires started carelessly by someone not thinking of the consequences,” Mohon said.

Another issue raised about the notification process involving fire agencies being called out to permitted controlled burns. The unnecessary response could be dangerous to citizens and the volunteers, Mohon said.

“We try to be responsible when responding, but things do happen,” Mohon said.

The ordinance allows commissioners to pass a resolution rescinding it when conditions warrant.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the commission voted to allocate funding to begin prioritized projects for making improvements to the fairgrounds.

“I would like to see us take some action on it,” Commissioner Dennis Lopez said.
Priority projects on the list include purchase of a restroom facility, addressing drainage issues behind the sheep barn and the rodeo arena, purchase of new bleachers, and making improvements to the Pavilion, according to County Manager Charlene Hardin.

At a glance

• 52 indigent claims totaling $43,488 were filed in the first quarter. Thirty of the claims have been approved, 21 denied and one is pending.

• District Court Judge Joe Parker approached the commission for funding to help refurbish the courtroom and facilities.