Fireworks as local vendor moves on

By Alastair Baker
Friday, July 6, 2018
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The land is question is a triangle shaped parcel, no more than an 1/8 of an acre, where Ski Run Road, S. White and Highway 212 all transect, south of town.

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Photos by Alastair Baker

Curt Sielaff moves his A&C Discount Fireworks stall located at the beginning of Ski Run Road.

A simple inquiry at a recent Red Lodge City Council meeting as to whether A&C Discount Fireworks stall was inside or outside City limits has led to the discovery that the seasonal business is within the city and must relocate.

The business has resided in the summer months for 23 years on a triangle shaped parcel, no more than an 1/8 of an acre, where Ski Run Road, S. White and Highway 212 all transect, south of town.

Mayor Bill Larson looked into the inquiry and discovered that the property, owned by Dan Monahan, had been annexed into the City in 1970 (Resolution 873).

As a result of this discovery, and in light of the City passing an Ordinance in May 2018 preventing the sale of fireworks within City limits, the business had to shut down.

To further the City’s claim to the land, Red Lodge Surveying did a boundary survey in 2015 and confirmed the parcel’s position within the City.

The certificate of survey number for the 2015 boundary is 2376RE and means it is filed with the county explained Larson.

One oversight, made by the 1970 administration, was the land had remained on the Carbon County Property Tax Roll until this week when Larson spoke with the Dept.of Revenue who is changing it back to the City.

Curt Sielaff, who runs the firework business and leased the land from Monahan for 12 days a year is adamant that the annexation went through in 2015 when a water line was laid across the property and the City told no one.

As far as the City is concerned the water line has nothing to do with the issue, since the annexation took place in 1970.

Sielaff is moving to Fox to set up shop by Beartooth Fertilizer.

“For me it’s all about me having parking and having access to kids so they are safe. I could set up down the highway and kids would run between trees and I’m not going to do that. If a kid got hurt it would crush me. I do this for the kids. I don’t make big money off this,” he said.

“Legally they are pushing their bounds because they haven’t filed it and the State still thinks it is county land but they just don’t like fireworks, they don’t want me here,” he said.

“He’s in the city so he can’t get a city business registration because it’s illegal to sell fireworks within the city,” said Larson, who also referred to possible liability issues involved with the selling of fireworks on city land.

“I feel for the guy and I’m sorry I’m the one who had to take care of it,” said Larson.

A question was raised about the billboard promoting Red Lodge Mountain that stands nearby, now being on City land but it was erected in 1973, long before the City signage ordinance. Under the City code 4.6.100 it would be classified as a non-conforming sign and grandfathered in.

Monahan when contacted said  “the City’s own website shows the land as being in the County.”

He had no further comment at this time.  


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