Washington Evening Journal
https://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1686183

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 24, 2017
New fireworks ordinance passes first test

Council OK’s first reading

Sep 08, 2017

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL

While the council members present at Tuesday’s Washington City Council meeting approved the first reading of amendments to the city’s fireworks ordinance, it was mentioned that the hours fireworks were allowed on the days they would be permitted seemed too long.

During the meeting, council member Millie Youngquist commented that the hours of 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. seemed too long. Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson said the times were from the previous code. City attorney Kevin Olson said the times were originally taken from state codes. Council member Jaron Rosien expressed concerns about enforceability of the ordinance, but because two council members were absent, asked to hold off discussion on the topic.

“I feel like we could spend more time here and have to go over it again for them,” Rosien said. “I say we either table it or do the first reading.”

The first reading was approved by the council members present. Council members Kerry Janecek and Brandon DeLong were absent.

During the Aug. 15 meeting, the council approved drafting the ordinance that would limit the days per year fireworks could be used in town. The amendment also will limit the kinds of fireworks that can be used, proposing a ban on more powerful fireworks such as mortars. During the meeting several instances were cited from instances that had occurred in Washington this year that cited the more powerful fireworks as a safety risk. Two more readings are required before the code is passed into law. The community is asked to continue giving input.

Since June, people have attended the meetings to speak against the use of fireworks.

“I think the discussion about mortars and enforceability needs to be discussed and instead of having the discussion twice we should have it when there are all six of us here,” Rosien said.

Youngquist also said she didn’t see the purpose of fireworks at 9 a.m.

Mayor Sandra Johnson said residents had asked about the question of whether the city would be liable if damage was caused by fireworks and the person who shot the fireworks could not be identified. Olson said there is no liability to the city.

 

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