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Belfield City Council members sworn in, address fireworks and ambulance merger

During a regular Belfield City Council meeting on Tuesday, three new councilmen were sworn in. Their first order of business would be to deliberate on an ambulance merger with Billings County, and usage of fireworks within city limits.

Belfield City Hall
Belfield City Hall is pictured.
Jason O'Day / The Dickinson Press
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BELFIELD, N.D. — On Tuesday during its regularly scheduled meeting, three newly elected Belfield City Councilmen took their oaths of office. The meeting was originally set to take place on June 14, but was postponed due the primary and municipal elections taking place on that day.

The newest members of the council include Mayor Jeff Iverson, Roger Decker and Kyle Michels. Mayor Marriann Mross, Bruce Baer and Pam Gross have departed from the council. The terms of incumbent members Ed Braun and Brett Northrop end in 2024.

More freedom to do things

A merger of the Belfield and Billings County Ambulance Service featured discussion on the opportunities presented to more efficiently share resources and volunteer labor. The ambulance service is requesting the city’s support to the tune of $100,000, which Braun said would mean an increase of approximately $1,000 per month from the city. The funding and merger discussions culminated in a 4-0 vote, with Michels recusing himself as a member of the ambulance service.

Norris Marx, a proprietor of a fireworks stand in Belfield each year, made his case for loosening restrictions and allowing the sale of fireworks within city limits.

“One of the nice things about living in a small town is that we’re allowed more freedom to do things. And there’s a lot of people who believe that as property owners, they should be able to light fireworks on their property. They’re paying taxes,” he said.

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Opponents of changing the in-place restrictions disagreed, highlighting that those who light fireworks often don’t clean up after themselves.

“A lot of people work on the weekends. I hate fireworks. I don’t want to hear them going off over my house until 11 o’clock,” one resident complained.

City Attorney Sandra Kuntz weighed in on the debate, expressing a preference for making time restrictions as similar to each other as possible, suggesting that residents be allowed the use of fireworks from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on July 1, 2 and 5; then from 8 a.m. to midnight on July 3 and 4.

Sheriff Corey Lee, who was in attendance to report that 140 calls for service from Belfield were responded to in the month of May, voiced his take on time restrictions on firework usage to speed limits, noting that resident tendencies often exceed allotted restrictions.

“If you set it at 55 mph, people go 60. If you say 1 a.m. people will be lighting until 1:15 or 1:30. I think the midnight proposal is fair,” Lee said.

A motion to approve time restrictions outlined by Kuntz was forwarded and unanimously approved.

Read more by Jason O'Day
In a special ballot vote on Tuesday at the Killdeer Ambulance Hall, a measure to double an existing 5 mill property tax aimed at increasing support for the ambulance service was handily shot down by area voters.

Related Topics: DICKINSONBELFIELD CITY COUNCILGOVERNMENT AND POLITICSAMBULANCE
Jason O’Day is a University of Iowa graduate, with Bachelor’s Degrees in Journalism and Political Science. Before moving to Dickinson in September of 2021, he was a general news reporter at the Creston News Advertiser in rural southwest Iowa. He was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa. With a passion for the outdoors and his Catholic faith, he’s loving life on the Western Edge.
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