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Neighbors complain about gunfire to commissioners

Staff Writer

Firearms and noise ordinances were hot topics during the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday night.
During the public comments portion of the evening, several residents from the Forest Ridge development shared their frustration regarding a neighbor’s penchant for firearms. According to Forest Ridge resident Matt Jacobson, the sound of gunfire has forced his family to contemplate moving.
“We definitely want to acknowledge that making decisions for Lincoln County must be very difficult,” Jacobson said. “There’s a huge variance in population from the east to the west side, with the west being more rural and the east becoming more populated. That being said, all of the people from our group agree there needs to be some kind of restriction in place. In a neighborhood like Forest Ridge, we’re too close for each other to have this going on freely without restrictions.”
Jacobson said the gunfire was impossible to ignore, and has forced residents to remain indoors due to noise and safety concerns.
“He does it for spite,” Forest Ridge resident Raye Watson-Smyth added. “We just want to have a nice, peaceful and friendly neighborhood.”
Watson-Smyth then addressed commissioner Carl Robinson, who lives in the eastern part of the county and often hears gunfire at his residence.
“They’ll shoot sometimes for three or four hours,” Robinson said. “And you know what I do? I just block it out. I understand where you’re coming from, but it doesn’t bother me. I’m outside doing stuff…and sound travels.”
During their budget workshop earlier this summer, county commissioners had spoken with the resident in question and approved a revision to the county’s noise ordinance that allowed gunfire under certain conditions. Now, it appears that commissioners will continue to look into tweaking the ordinance.
Later in the meeting, the commissioners brought up the idea of restricting gunfire based on the decibel levels or zoning districts. Lincoln County Attorney Wesley Deaton said that he would look into the matter and prepare a report for the county’s August meeting.
Commissioners also received a report regarding the bids for construction at Rescue Squad Park in Denver. The Times-News reported in April that the Denver Rotary Club was interested in rebidding and separating out the proposed Farmer’s Market building at the site. At that time, county commissioners voted unanimously to approve the rebidding of Rescue Squad Park and explore alternate designs for the multipurpose building.
At Monday’s meeting, Public Works Director Don Chamblee said the Rotary Club was ready to move forward without the construction of the Farmer’s Market building. However, only one bidder made an offering during the rebidding process.
“The one bid was 20-30 percent higher than our first bid,” Chamblee said.
“So, what you’re telling me is that the base bid round two was higher without the Farmer’s Market than it was with the Farmer’s Market?” commissioner Jim Klein asked.
Chamblee explained to the commissioners that contractors often are wary of projects that are re-bid.
“Rebidding can leave a bad taste in a contractor’s mouth,” he explained.
According to Chamblee, the Denver Rotary Club is expected to meet next week to determine the next best course of action. At this time, the meeting has not been scheduled for a specific date or location.
Lincoln County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sherry Hoyle, Nutrition Director Shelly Rhyne and Board of Education Chairwoman Candy Burgin pitched a proposal to commissioners Monday night regarding the purchase of an industrial building on Industrial Park Road. The building would serve as a warehouse for the county’s nutrition program, as well as for storing custodial and instructional supplies. The purchase had already been approved by the Board of Education, but because the building would be used for purposes other than school instruction, the purchase required the commissioners’ approval.
According to Burgin, the warehouse would cost approximately $223,000 to purchase, but would pay for itself in two years. In addition, the Board of Education could anticipate saving $70,000 on custodial supplies, $50,000 on instructional supplies, and approximately $18,000 on child nutrition bulk food purchases.
“The space would really allow for us to take advantage of our partnership with USDA,” Rhyne said.
She said the building would allow the schools to not only take advantage of buying in bulk, but would allow the board to save on storage costs the schools are currently paying for.
County commissioners unanimously voted to approve the Board of Education’s warehouse purchase.
The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners will meet next on Aug. 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Citizens Center.

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