City: Fireworks amendment continues

SUN-GAZETTE FILE PHOTO A firework explodes on July 4 during the Set the Night to Music Fireworks Extravaganza. The city is seeking an amendment to its fireworks ordinance to limit large-scale firework use by city residents.

City officials are fine-tuning an amendment to the city fireworks ordinance.

Police and fire officials spoke to City Council’s public safety committee Tuesday on the ordinance’s progress.

Capt. Jody Miller is taking the lead, along with Fire Chief Todd Heckman.

“We’re seeking to limit their use to on and around July 4 and maybe on New Year’s,” Miller said.

The document continues to be a work in progress, coming on the heels of a state law changed in 2017 to allow more powerful fireworks use and sales.

Fireworks that shoot upward in the sky in aerial displays and can sound as a bomb would can now be purchased, according to the law.

Committee chairman Joel Henderson said he received correspondence from a resident of Railway Street, who told him Williamsport Cemetery is a popular gathering place for shooting off fireworks.

The resident said fireworks began to be heard on the third week of May through July.

Police, Miller said, continue to respond to fireworks activities.

The committee also heard a good report from the outreach by the department, especially the Coffee with a Cop program.

Police are assigned to meet the public at various restaurants and locations. The discussions provide feedback and give the department the kind of image it wants with the community-at-large, according to Chief David Young.