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Council drops proposed helicopter ordinance

— Months of discussion and meeting on a proposed ordinance regulating helicopter activity within the municipal limits ended last week with a unanimous vote by the Grangeville City Council to drop the matter entirely.

“The main reason was there is not a lot of helicopter traffic within city limits,” said city clerk Tonya Kennedy, for the council’s unanimous decision last Tuesday, Jan. 19. Mostly, such helicopter activity consists of two events: the Grangeville EMT Association’s (GEMTA) annual Spring Fling, and the Sober Graduation event at Grangeville High School

With this decision, GEMTA said on planning such events in the future it would get the issue on the council agenda so there would be advance city notice of such activity.

The decision to drop the ordinance was recommended by a three-person city committee working with GEMTA representatives and the Grangeville Police Chief, which reviewed helicopter activity, purported need for a regulation and the necessity. On this review, the committee determined activity was too minimal to warrant an ordinance and recommended dropping the matter.

Council initiated effort on a working draft last November that through subsequent changes would have prohibited helicopter landings and takeoffs in the city, with exceptions granted through a council-approved permit.


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