Council to discuss fireworks, tourism district

Councilmembers will also discuss the creation of a nonprofit organization called Visit Lompoc, Inc.
2013-12-01T01:00:00Z Council to discuss fireworks, tourism districtGianna Cruet/gcruet@lompocrecord.com Lompoc Record
December 01, 2013 1:00 am  • 

After delaying discussion regarding the legality of “safe and sane” fireworks on Oct. 15, the Lompoc City Council plans to bring the topic up again at Tuesday's meeting.

The council initially planned to discuss amending code for safe and sane fireworks at the October meeting. But that night, Interim City Administrator Teresa Gallavan recommended postponing discussion to December in order to accommodate questions from council members about items in a staff report prepared by Fire Chief Kurt Latipow.

In the original report, Latipow provided a summary of both the departments’ actions and overtime costs related to the July 4, 2012 holiday. He also recommended changes to the distribution of fireworks to non-profit organizations in town, promoted the idea of block parties and suggested a 4-percent surcharge on fireworks sales by wholesalers.

Although council members requested more information, Latipow said the content in the staff report has not changed drastically. Still, he elaborated on several subjects, he said.

“I attempted to address any questions that the council had, as well as the public, so the staff report is considerably longer,” Latipow said.

According to the staff report, Mayor John Linn asked the fire department to allow safe and sane fireworks to be discharged in public parks and to allow their use in streets and in privately-owned parking lots. Latipow said he amended the staff report to include the use of the fireworks in certain parks — Ryon Park, Johns-Manville Park, Thompson Park and Pioneer Park — as long as the use of the parks would be governed by a permit process.

The new staff report also emphasizes the advantages of block parties. Those who want to host a block party for the holiday will need to go through a permit process, but if it is approved, residents can use their private parking lots or cul-de-sacs to discharge safe and sane fireworks, Latipow said.

The City Council will also discuss the creation of a non-profit organization called Visit Lompoc, Inc. to serve as the owner's association that implements goals of the Lompoc Tourism Improvement District (LTID). The council approved the formation of the LTID on Oct. 15.

The agreement allows the city to loan $75,000 for the startup costs of Visit Lompoc, Inc. The money will be taken from the General Fund, according to staff reports. Since the LTID is expected to generate $250,000 in revenue in its first year, the loan will be short-term, the report said.

The Lompoc City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 100 Civic Center Plaza.

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