City fireworks ordinance may see change

City Council’s public safety committee on Tuesday heard from police who said they intend to work with council to create an ordinance next year because of the more lax laws regarding what kind of fireworks are hitting the streets.

“We’re going to have to address this,” said Capt. Jody Miller to the committee on the eve of Independence Day.

Numerous calls for police response before the holiday are occurring throughout the city, he said.

The fireworks law of 1939 was rescinded in October 2017 and now allows mortars, fireworks that shoot directly into the air and larger, more powerful types of pyrotechnics.

There are laws that remain on the books, such as no one is to shoot these fireworks closer than 150 feet from an occupied structure, but the blasts are happening in streets around the city and police and fire officials want to see what kind of ordinance other cities have, such as Lancaster.

According to some ordinances, fireworks can be shot off two days before the Fourth and two days afterwards, said city Fire Chief Todd Heckman.

“That’s too long,” he said.