Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 22, 2018

Citizen petitions against fireworks continue

By David Hotle | Aug 03, 2017

Residents Susan See and Edie Richardson again approached the Washington City Council during the regular meeting Tuesday to ask for a citywide ban of fireworks and brought information that the state will probably not reverse its decisions regarding firework use.

During the meeting See told the council the group opposing fireworks use in Washington had collected over 400 signatures on petitions requesting fireworks usage be prohibited. She mentioned this did not include online signatures, which she was told may not count. Some signers, she said, had expressed intered in limiting the number of days fireworks can be used to July 4 and Dec. 31.

“As I have been doing this and some others have been doing this, it has become more than just getting signatures,” she said. “There is more to this, and that is the stories that come out of this.”

She told the council about two elderly women who feared for their lives when they saw fireworks being shot horizontally instead of vertically. See also spoke of a veteran who was sitting on a floor crying as fireworks went off. She also told a story of a dog who had gotten so worked up it chewed through its kennel and sliced its throat.

See also read an excert from a newspaper that stated no state-level changes in the law appear imminent. The article said the law was working as intended by giving local communities the option to regulate fireworks as they saw fit. Earlier this year, the state Legislature approved an ordinance allowing fireworks to be sold in Iowa, ending the ban on fireworks in the state. The law also allows municipalities to set their own laws regarding how and when fireworks can be used.

“I would like to strongly urge you to revisit this issue by putting it on the agenda sooner rather than later,” See said, “New Year’s Eve is just around the corner.”

An ordinance the council recently approved limits fireworks use to the shooter’s own property. The ordinance also says fireworks can be used between June 30 and July 8 until 10 p.m. and on Dec. 31.

Richardson said she had helped circulate the petition and had started an online petition before she realized the online signatures wouldn’t carry much weight. She also told stories people had relayed to her while she was gathering signatures.

As of July 6, there were two reports of people who had to be hospitalized as a result of fireworks injuries.

Changes to the ordinance would have to have three readings in council before it can be adopted.

People wishing to sign a petition to ban fireworks in Washington can contact See at 461-3855.

A petition has also been circulating to advocate for responsible use of fireworks and keeping the law the way it is. The web address for a petition to keep the Washington ordinance the way it is can be found at The web address for the petition is https://jpcarroll12.wixsite.com/washingtonfireworks.

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