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Rugby City Council puts three ordinances on first readings

By Staff | Nov 10, 2011

Three ordinances were amended at first readings at the Nov. 7 meeting of the Rugby City Council.

The first was an amendment to 6.08.010 the Keeping of Certain Animals prohibited amendment. The council is in the process of adding 6.08.020 Pit Bulls Prohibited – “It shall be unlawful to keep, harbor, own or in any way possess within the corporate limits of the city of Rugby, ND any Pit Bull dog.” It then lists five definitions for Pit Bull dog. The council members were all present and voted in favor of putting the ordinance on first reading.

The second ordinance 9.36 is to add limitations to the Fireworks ordinance. Amendment 9.36.040 reads as follows: “The use of fireworks is prohibited within the Corporate limits of the city of Rugby except for: A. Permitted hours of use – June 27-July 5 excluding July 3 & 4, legal times for use are 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. On July 3 the hours for legal use are 8 a.m. -11:59 p.m. On July 4 times for use will be between 8 a.m.. and 1a.m. on July 5. Part B refers to using fireworks for special events. Part C. gives the restrictions for igniting and discharging fireworks near (within 100′) of various flammable situations. Part D fireworks cannot be used to endanger people, animals, buildings, property, brush, vehicles etc. This was also approved by the entire council for first reading.

The third ordinance 16.08 Fire Hazards added some language for the use of fire pits in Rugby. The addition reads as follows: “a fire pit will include commercially-sold units and privately-built units. Both types of units must include a cover for the purpose of extinguishing a flame. All fires allowed by this ordinance must not be left unattended for extended periods of time. The purpose of the fire pit will be for recreational purposes only and not for the burning of yard waste, garden waste, or refuse.

The fire pit ordinance produced the most discussion. The intent of the council appeared to be that fire pits can be used for recreational purposes but not for the burning of yard waste, garden waste, and refuse. Police Chief John Rose said there had been a few complaints and officers had investigated. The council agreed that a backyard fire pit to sit around and enjoy or for roasting marshmallows was acceptable. The concern is that some people are burning whatever they want in these fires and causing smoke and other problems for their neighbors.

After a lengthy discussion in which city attorney Bill Hartl expressed his opinion that he was not in favor of the ordinance as written, Councilman Neil Lotvedt said he is in favor of the ordinance if the part about requiring a cover was left out. What the ordinance boils down to is that fire pits are not to be used for burning of yard waste, garden waste or refuse. In the end a first reading was approved without the requirement of a cover.

All three ordinances will have second readings at the December 5 meeting of the council.

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