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DOÑA ANA COUNTY COMMISSION

Due to drought conditions, city, county adopt fireworks restrictions

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Doña Ana County joined the City of Las Cruces in restricting the sale and use of fireworks for the July 4th holiday and beyond because of the area’s extreme drought conditions.

The Doña Ana County Commission voted 3-0 at its June 8 regular meeting to prohibit the sale of aerial and ground audible devices, including “the sale and use of missile-type rockets, helicopters, aerial spinners, stick-type rockets and ground audible devices, including chasers and firecrackers” within unincorporated areas of the county, according to the county proclamation.

The Las Cruces City Council voted 7-0 at its June 7 meeting to prohibit “the sale and use of missile-type rockets, helicopters, aerial spinners, stick-type rockets, ground audible devices such as chasers, and firecrackers,” according to the resolution passed by the city.

The city ordinance and county proclamation also limit the use of permissible “safe and sane” fireworks to include “cone fountains, crackling devices, cylindrical fountains, flitter sparklers, ground spinners, illuminating torches, toy smoking devices and wheels,” which may only be used within the Las Cruces city limits and unincorporated areas of Doña Ana County “that are paved or barren, or areas that have a readily accessible source of water for use by the homeowner or general public,” according to the county proclamation which is essentially the same as the city ordinance.

The city ordinance is in effect until July 7. The county proclamation, effective immediately upon its passage, continues from June 8 for 30 days.

The county amended its proclamation to allow Bowlin’s Travel Centers to continue to sell aerial and ground audible devices to people who are not residents of Doña Ana County. Bowlin’s Old West Trading Post, located about 15 miles west of Las Cruces near Interstate 10, qualifies under county ordinance as the only specialty retailer in the county that is allowed to make the sales.

Bowlin’s Travel Centers Director of Operations Kit Johnson spoke at the commission meeting requesting the sales be allowed to continue.

“We card them,” Johnson said at the meeting. “We let them (customers) know by notice coming into the store and also by posting at the cash register that we do not sell to county residents.” Purchasers are also advised that the restricted fireworks should not be used within the county, he said.

At the commission meeting, county attorney Nelson Goodin said other incorporated areas of the county, including Anthony and Mesilla, may allow the sale of some fireworks that are prohibited by the county proclamation and City of Las Cruces ordinance.

Goodin said Otero County and El Paso County have adopted fireworks restrictions similar to those imposed by Las Cruces and Doña Ana County.