Washington Evening Journal
https://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1670414

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 22, 2017

Petition begins to ban fireworks in city

By David Hotle | Jul 20, 2017

 

 

The Washington County Auditor’s office reports that 963 residents of Washington voted in the last election. It only took resident Susan See and four of her friends less than two weeks to get over 261 signatures on a petition to have fireworks banned from the city.

During the regular Washington City Council meeting Tuesday evening, See said that she planned to continue gathering signatures to ask the council to revisit its decision to allow fireworks usage for two weeks during the summer and one day in the winter. While discussing the issue, See read from articles featured in local newspapers which detailed people being hospitalized, fire calls and other issues related to fireworks. She also gave addresses of areas in town where fireworks complaints came from.

“When I would ask people, I would approach it by asking how they felt about the fireworks this year,” See told the council.

While one person said she loved the fireworks, most people See talked to did not support fireworks. She said most of the people told stories of problems they had with people lighting off fireworks. Several of the people found remains of the fireworks on their property. She said four people had said they had relatives who were veterans who said they hated having fireworks going off in town. See also heard a story of two intoxicated people who had been shooting bottle rockets at each other. As of July 6, two injuries had been reported from fireworks that required a subject to be hospitalized.

See said many people had sought her out to sign the petition when they learned one was being circulated.

“Three people said if it was just July 4, that could be something to consider, but they agreed the current time frame is much too long and people have no common sense,” See said. “There was one person who shrugged and didn’t seem to have an opinion. But, most people I talked to seemed to have a very strong opinion that this ordinance must be rescinded.”

She plans to continue collecting signatures on the petitions. She is concerned before long a house will catch fire or someone would get seriously hurt.

The question on the petition is “We, the undersigned, petition the Washington City Council to ban the shooting of fireworks within city limits.”

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.

The council had less than a month to create the ordinance and approve it due to a statewide ban on fireworks being lifted with less than a month until Independence Day.

People wishing to sign a petition can contact See at 461-3855.

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