Sulphur Springs City Council could soon be asked to consider a new ordinance which would establish regulations for tire store, according to Councilman Jimmy Lucas.
The main issue, according to City Manager Marc Maxwell, is large stock piles of old and scrap tires outside of tire businesses presenting potential health and safety issues.
Lucas said the matter was first brought to his attention last summer, when a family member was bitten by numerous mosquitoes before she could enter the residence of one of the patients she cared as a home health nurse.
Lucas said he investigated the matter himself, and in the short walk to the door was bitten 10 times before he could enter the residence. On closer inspection numerous old and scrap tires were observed outside a tire business; the tires backed up to the resident’s fence, according to Lucas.
Tires left outside collect water from rain, creating a potential place for mosquito growth. Too tires stacked up, especially in residential areas, can prove a hazard for children; tires are heavy and pose a risk if knocked over onto a child, Lucas said.
Those, Lucas says, are health safety issues, according to the councilman.
“It’s our duty to protect citizens,” Lucas said.
The owner of the tire business was contacted a number of times, and eventually closed the business, leaving the tires for the property owner to deal with; the owners has taken steps to rectify the matter, according to the city councilman.
Lucas and city officials have looked into the matter and proposed an ordinance that would help address this health and safety issue if the issue were to arise again.
“We are not trying to put anyone out of business. We want to take steps to protect citizens,” said Lucas.
He noted all local businesses have to meet some type of local regulations. For instance restaurants must pass a health inspection, other businesses are restricted on where wastes, chemicals or other materials may be discarded.
The ordinance is still being drafted, city officials said, but as currently discussed would require businesses with old and scrap stockpiles of tires outside to be shielded from the public view, covered and limited to a certain number of discarded tires in a confined space.
City officials said the new ordinance could show up on the council agenda for consideration as early as the next regular meeting, which should be on June 4.