The Oro Valley Town Council hosted a special meeting June 29, discussing transit issues, prohibiting fireworks and considering appointments to the Conceptual Design Review Board.
The special session was primarily called to allow the council to discuss and take action on an emergency ordinance to prohibit the use of consumer fireworks.
In a 6-0 vote, the council approved the emergency ordinance, which means it went into effect just before the 4th of July holiday.
The original proposal was to ban consumer fireworks indefinitely, however, after discussion, several council members said they were more comfortable approving a temporary ban.
In the motion to approve the temporary ban, council members agreed the town’s fire marshal in consultation with town staff should review the issue every 30 days.
While the ordinance did not include commercial fireworks displays, the Hilton El Conquistador Resort canceled the professional display planned for the July 4th celebrations in favor of a laser-light show.
Lynn Ericson, the general manager of the resort, said the decision to cancel was about being a good neighbor. While the 4th of July weekend is good for the resort economically, Ericson said, the decision to cancel came down to doing what’s right.
“We are going to have a safe laser-light show that won’t threaten neighbors or community,” he said. “We are now looking to host a fireworks display over Labor Day weekend.”
Oro Valley joined a list of entities prohibiting consumer use of fireworks this season, despite the Arizona Legislature passing a law last year to make them legal.
The City of Tucson voted to prohibit them immediately following the sate vote last year, and the Pima County Board of Supervisors voted to ban them in mid-June.
In other business, the council voted 4-1 to appoint Steve Solomon and Lou Waters to a working group aimed at researching regional transportation prospects. Councilman Bill Garner voted against the measure, while Vice Mayor Mary Snider and Councilman Barry Gillaspie were not present to vote.
Solomon and Waters were appointed to address questions surrounding the Regional Transportation Authority, which was slated to take over the town’s transit services in place of Coyote Run.
During budget discussions, the original plan was to cut the Coyote Run transit system to save the town at least $220,000. However, the council voted on June 1 to keep the town’s program in place.
The council then voted on June 18 to reconsider the decision, opting for more discussion on July 20.
Interim Town Manager Greg Caton said the appointed council members will review and research the transit issues before the July 20 meeting where the council will also host a public hearing.
In the final vote of the night, the council unanimously approved appointments to the Conceptual Design Review Board.
Dick Eggerding and Rachel Childrers were appointed to the nine-member board because of their expertise in art.
The council appointed the other seven members on June 1.
The CDRB has been established to make recommendations to the town council on conceptual designs for new development including conceptual site plans, conceptual architecture and conceptual public art proposals.
The CDRB will meet the second and fourth Tuesday of the month, and hold special sessions when needed.