RANCHESTER – Ranchester Town Council approved on first reading an ordinance that will amend existing code regarding underage possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages at its meeting Tuesday.
The code will be amended to state that no person under age 21 can enter or remain in a licensed room where alcohol is dispensed unless accompanied by a parent/guardian who is 21 years of age or older for the purpose of dining.
Children and youth under age 21 will be allowed in dining and waiting areas where alcohol is served before the hour of 10 p.m. After that time, they will not be allowed.
The amendment was proposed to clarify whether or not children under 21 could eat with their parents in an establishment that served food and alcohol.
The ordinance will require two more readings to pass. Council members also approved on second reading Ordinance 255 regarding flood damage prevention. The ordinance revises the rules and regulations regarding development in flood plains and adopts official Flood Insurance Rate Maps and a Flood Insurance Study as required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to maintain eligibility in the National Flood Insurance Program.
The ordinance will pass if approved on third reading. It is based on FEMA’s model regulations regarding flood plain management.
In other business:
• Council members discussed an ongoing complaint of a noxious odor coming from an establishment in town.
Town Clerk Teri Laya noted that Mike Miller, fire prevention specialist for the Sheridan office of the State Fire Marshal, said a noxious odor complaint must be investigated by the town and efforts to fix the problem must be made. If the fire marshal is denied access to inspect the problem, a citation can be issued.
• Councilors discussed drafting an ordinance to allow fire pits within town limits, with restrictions.
• Ranchester resident Dan McEldowney asked the council to consider alternate methods of snow removal to prevent blocking residential driveways. The council said piling snow in the middle of streets and removing it would be prohibitively expensive but that it would look at ways to address the problem.
• Councilman Peter Clark announced that the Tongue River Valley Joint Powers Board, consisting of representatives from Dayton, Ranchester and Sheridan County School District 1, has received approval from the Attorney General’s office. The board will hold a work session at 7 p.m. Nov. 13 at Dayton Town Hall to meet with a consultant and discuss strategies for bringing natural gas to the Tongue River Valley.