Krista Corner Havre Daily News email@example.com
Fireworks, trailers, zoning, weeds and noise are all under review by a committee of the Havre City Council. Havre City Council Ordinance Committee chair Pam Hillery said Monday that Havre Mayor Bob Rice has asked the committee to review five ordinances. The committee will discuss the first of the five ordinances, fireworks, on Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. "The issue with the fireworks ordinance is the fines," she said, adding that Police Chief Jerry Nystrom told her, "We don't know how to fine them." Hillery said the ordinance has no specific penalties within, so it falls under the city's general penalty clause, which allows for fines up to $500. The trailer and weed ordinances also have enforcement issues, Hillery said. "There is no enforcement," she said. "Everyone is parking their trailers, but no one is doing anything, because the neighbors won't complain and unless they do the police department won't act because they are just too busy." The weed ordinance states that any weed or grass that is taller than eight inches must be mowed. Hillery said, again the enforcement only happens if city workers see the weeds or if the violation is reported. "If the property owners don't mow, the city sends a letter. If the notice is ignored, the city comes in and mows," Hillery said. "The city bills the property owner and if it is not paid, the city can add it to the tax assessment." The zoning issue surfaced when a Great Falls businessman requested the city change the commercial-local code to include casinos. During the public hearing process, Paul Dockter, who owns the property on 5th Avenue formerly known as Tip-Top Video, pointed out that several businesses on 5th Avenue do not follow the commerciallocal zoning code. Hillery said the city needed to look into finding a way to check on zoning before a business occupied a building within a zoning district. “We dropped the ball on that. We allowed a use that would not be permitted in that zoning district,” she said. “Maybe that is something we need to look at making a process for notification of intent to start a business.” Some of the questions the committee will be asking when looking at the zoning ordinance are, “Is our zoning ordinance current? Do they need updating?” Hillery said. The noise ordinance has issues because noise in the city is dealt with in a non-specific manner. “It is not specifically a noise ordinance,” she said. The noise within the city falls under the public nuisance section of the public health and safety ordinance. This section states that anyone making any kind of noise considered offensive to area residents can be ticketed. There is no specific time of Day listed for a noise cut off. “This is a difficult one,” Hillery said. “What is noise that is offensive?” The Ordinance Committee will meet prior to the Oct. 6 Council meeting at 6 p.m. Any citizen with complaints or concerns on any ordinance is encouraged to attend. The members of the City Council Ordinance Committee are chair Pam Hillery, Bob Kaul, Gerry Veis and Cal Long.