The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Rodger Nichols
For The Sentinel 

City considers new fireworks, dog ordinances, approves fire truck

 


With the passage of three ordinances, the Goldendale City Council made major upgrades in the city’s rolling stock at Monday’s meeting. Those ordinances authorized purchases of a new fire truck, new police cars, and new work trucks for the public works department, totaling more than $700,000. Payments will be spread over a number of years thanks to financing offered by the state. In presenting his report, Fire Chief Noah Halm noted that the city’s current truck is a 1972 Seagraves originally purchased new by the city. Normally, he said, the working life of a fire truck is considered to be 20 years, and this one is 46. A new one is needed, he said, to maintain the city’s current insurance rating.

The ordinance blitz continued with an updated natural gas franchise agreement and an addition to the burn permit ordinance adding a penalty clause for noncompliance.

Two others might have broader implications—an ordinance to sharply reduce the use of fireworks within the city, and one that proposes a massive revision to the city’s dangerous dog regulations. Both of them had a first reading this week, so will be showing up again at the next meeting. Councilors voted to waive the second reading on three vehicle purchase items.

Current statewide regulations allow the sale and display of fireworks from June 28 through July 5 and from Dec. 27 through Dec. 31. The proposed new ordinance in Goldendale would limit the use of fireworks to the hours between 6 p.m. and midnight on the Fourth of July and from 6 p.m. December 31 to 1 a.m. January 1. Under current Washington law, any local regulation that is stricter than the statewide standard cannot take effect until a year later. If this new ordinance is passed, it wouldn’t take effect until July 2019.

Serious changes are proposed affecting owners of dogs deemed dangerous by breed or individual behavior. If identified as dangerous, they would have to be destroyed or licensed by the city at a $250 fee. Owners would also be required to have the dog microchipped, placed on a local and national registry and to provide proof they had a minimum of $250,000 liability insurance coverage. Dangerous dogs would not be allowed to run loose even on the owners’ property and if taken off the property would have to be leashed and muzzled.

The owner could appeal the designation as a dangerous dog either to the Chief of Police or through the municipal court. If determined that the dog does qualify as a dangerous dog, the owner must meet all the above requirements or the dog can be destroyed and the owner charged with a misdemeanor carrying the potential of 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

Local residents who have problems with deer inside the city may want to mark their calendars for July 16 when Police Chief Reggie Bartkowski has invited a representative of the state’s fish and wildlife department to make a presentation to the city council.

“Some of the things he’s going to be bringing up that night would be building fences,” Bartkowski said, “feeding deer inside city limits, chemical repellents, scaring devices, deer-resistant plants and hunting options. This will be very valuable training.”

He also noted that the police department had been successful in a series of small but meaningful grants. That included $3,000 from Avangrid, that, together with a $7,000 grant from another wind energy company, provided the funds for new bulletproof vests for every member of the department.

A $500 grant from the American Legion, he said, would be used for bike safety. He plans on buying 50 bike helmets that he will be able to share with kids who can’t afford them. And he said the police also have a number of clip-on lights that they can share to make bikes safer at night.

 

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