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Mayor says fireworks ordinance may need updates

Posted at 10:28 PM, Jan 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-03 23:28:48-05

Some residents are still simmering over fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Despite their use being illegal inside city limits, there’s proof that plenty of people ignored the law and warnings from public safety leaders about the dangers and potentially heft fines that come with setting off fireworks.

That has many people asking why it’s on the books, if more isn’t being done to enforce it. Mayor Joe McComb says he understands why people are upset that others seem to get away with this action every year.

“Particularly, if it’s in their backyard or their neighborhood and they’re just trying to go to bed at 9 or 10 o’clock on that night and all of a sudden at midnight, it just goes crazy,” McComb told KRIS 6 News.

However, the mayor also acknowledges the challenge for police and fire crews who are trying to catch all of those people in the act.

“You can’t gear up manpower-wise for one or two days a year to cover every site,” McComb explained. “If you’ve got a law on the books that you can’t enforce, that creates a problem because it creates some frustration.”

For that reason, Mayor McComb says he doesn’t mind revisiting the city’s rules for fireworks, and figuring out if the risks that the ordinance was designed to prevent are still there.

“We want safety to be our number one priority — both for human safety and property safety. But I think it’d at least be worth a look and see what the police chief and the fire chief have to say about it.”

McComb says he may bring up the fireworks ordinance to the city manager when city council meetings resume this month.