By JONATHAN ZWEYGARDT
Residents living in rural Ellis County will be allowed to light fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday after the Ellis County Commission on Monday relaxed the ban on the discharge of fireworks in unincorporated areas of the county.
Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management Darin Myers told the county commission several area counties are planning to allow fireworks in the county.
He added, however, that he always has his concerns.
“One accident, one fire, one property lost, one death, whatever it may be weighs hard on trying to say, ‘Yes let’s allow fireworks,’ ” Myers said. “But at the same time, I hate to put these restrictions on the public.
“But it’s very wet this year and it’s green out there, so it kind of eases your concern a little bit.”
As in the past, the times and dates that the discharge of fireworks is allowed in rural Ellis County are the same as the city of Hays — 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 2 to 4.
In other business, High Plains Mental Health Executive Director Walt Hill presented the commission with the organizations 2018 annual report and approved a use agreement between the city of Hays and the Ellis County Fire and Sheriff’s departments and the county EMS department for use of the new fire training facility.
The commission also approved a 2 percent salary increase for all employees and a step adjustment for employees with five or more years of service in their position. The changes are effective July 14.
Commissioners also approved changes to the county’s personnel policy that changes the number of hours required for a person to be considered full-time from 40 hours to 36 hours.