By Michael Howell
The Town of Stevensville, in its continuing effort to codify its ordinances, passed a Weapons Ordinance at its last meeting that bans weapons from public assemblies and public buildings, parks, and schools whether carried openly or concealed. The ordinance also prohibits the discharge of firearms within the town limits. Although the ordinance, as passed on first reading, also prohibited the discharge of BB guns, pellet guns and air guns within the town limits, these restrictions were removed by amendment.
Councilor Bill Perrin, who has a BB gun target range set up at his home, led the move to amend the ordinance to allow BB guns, pellet guns and air guns to be used in town. Councilor Ron Klaphake, who has been doing the bulk of the work on codifying the ordinances, said that BB guns, pellet guns and air guns were included in the prohibition because they were already prohibited as part of the current ordinance that was being replaced, although they are not prohibited in state law.
“It was in the past ordinance,” said Klaphake, “but if it was never enforced and doesn’t seem to be a problem at present, I would support taking it out.”
The two women on the Council, however, felt that the restrictions should remain in place. The Council vote on removing the restrictions came down to a tie vote with Desera Towle and Robin Holcomb voting against the amendment and Perrin and Klaphake voting for it. Mayor Gene Mim Mack broke the tie, voting in favor of the amendment. The vote to adopt the ordinance as amended was unanimous.
In other business, the Council voted to repeal the license requirements for mechanical musical devices, public dance halls, taxi cabs, and gaming. The Council also approved the proposal to build the Newsom Hangar at the Stevensville Airport. A hangar construction requirement policy is also being developed.
New park regulations were also adopted on second reading as well as a fee schedule for the use of the swimming pool.
New codes concerning the construction of sidewalks in town were also approved. The ordinance allows the Town to order the construction of sidewalks, curbs or gutters without the formation of a special improvement district. It sets standards for construction of sidewalks and gutters as well as alley approaches and requires Town supervision of any work on such structures or installation of entrance ways. The abutting property owner is responsible for maintenance and snow removal. The ordinance allows the Town to employ alternative methods for financing the work on sidewalks which could include the Town paying for the first $250 worth and then sharing 50/50 with the property owner for any costs over that amount.