Merced County Board of Supervisors to consider fireworks

Safe, sane kind would be legal

rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.comJune 9, 2013 

— The Merced County Board of Supervisors will meet today to consider giving final approval to an ordinance allowing fireworks in unincorporated parts of the county.

The ordinance, introduced at a May 7 meeting and supported by the county Fire Department, would allow for the sale and use of so-called safe-and-sane fireworks in unincorporated communities.

Nonprofit organizations could run stands selling the fireworks after paying certain fees and passing a site inspection.

During today's meeting, county supervisors also will consider approving a low-cost spay and neuter assistance program beginning July 1.

The program would allow pet owners to purchase a voucher from the county Animal Control Unit that could be redeemed within 60 days at one of the participating veterinarians, said Mike North, a county management analyst.

The cost of the voucher would depend on each pet owner's income level, he added.

The county's growing animal population has posed a threat to public safety, with the county receiving more than 2,500 calls this year regarding stray animals as of April 30.

Less than 18 percent of the animals impounded at the Merced County Animal Control were spayed or neutered, North said.

Also on today's meeting agenda are three proposed contracts that would expand wireless Internet service to three more branches of the Merced County Library system.

If approved, branches in Gustine, Dos Palos and Livingston would get the service, North said. The contracts for all three sites would total $21,686, to be paid for with literacy funding from the Human Services Agency.

The Board of Supervisors will meet at 10 a.m. today in the board chambers on the third floor of the Merced County Administration Building, 2222 M St. in Merced.

Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.com.

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