Fireworks Discusssion

Written by Theresa Rose on July 26, 2018

Fireworks were a topic of discussion at the Wednesday morning meeting of the Mt. Pleasant City Council Ordinance Committee.  The committee decided the full council should weigh-in on whether or not the current ordinance regarding the use of fire works should be changed.  The three committee members want to hear what other council members have or haven’t heard from their constituents.  Mt Pleasant Police Chief Ron Archer said between June 7 and July 19 there were 54 reported complaints about the use.  Some complained about use after hours, reckless use, too close, too loud and a couple of people with PTSD complained.  No injuries were reported by the HCHC Emergency Room or by the Family Medicine staff.  Archer said last year between June 25 and July 19 there were 46 complaints.  Last year was the first year the legislature said Iowans could legally buy fireworks.  Counties and cities must allow the sale but can regulate or deny the use.  The summer sale dates are June 1 to July 8.  Mt. Pleasant residents were supposed to stop using the fireworks the weekend following the 4th of July.  The current ordinance is hard to enforce.  It’s difficult to catch someone in the act of using fireworks at the time a complaint is made.  Plus, when there are fireworks sales outlets in town it’s hard to tell people they can buy them but not use them.  It’s also hard to know actually how residents feel since not everyone who is bothered complains to police. One council member felt that 54 complaints didn’t represent a big enough percentage of the population to justify changing the ordinance.  The discussion will be taken up again during a full council work session.  The ordinance committee also wants to discuss raising the peddlers permit fee.  It’s currently $50.  This is the permit the fireworks outlets must have to set up and sell in Mt. Pleasant.