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County Considering Potential Fireworks Changes

Karen Shade - August 2, 2017 6:24 am

Cory Bird points out the location of fireworks that the customer's asked for.

The Saline County Commission is looking at potential changes to fireworks laws.

Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, Emergency Management Director Hannah Stambaugh and Planning and Zoning Director David Neal assembled multiple pages of fireworks codes along with comparisons of what other cities and communities allow as days/hours of discharge and fireworks stand license fees.

  • Commissioners asked for public input:
    Norman Mannel disagreed with any further restrictions on celebrations, saying he and many others had fought to preserve freedoms. He expressed alarm about actions that might turn this country “into a dictatorship”.
  • Nikole Bird and her husband manage three firework tents “on Avenue B, Magnolia Road, and near Markley”. The Birds employee 20-30 individuals each season. She said she and her staff do the best they can to educate the public about the different firework days/hours of discharge in the different communities. She said that if the County were to change hours/days of discharge, it would only create more confusion. The Avenue B tent was inspected by the Salina Fire Department (who has a mutual aid pact with some of the rural fire departments), and she found herself having to comply both with the City’s and County’s requirements. Chad Pierce, who managed their Markley tent, noted that any reduction in hours would result in a decrease in tax revenues. He said he frequently shows individuals how to find the requirements for launching fireworks on Google and Facebook. Someone stated that “there will always be obnoxious people; a few should not limit the privileges of the many”. Later, as the discussion continued outside the meeting room, Bird said that she occasionally sells fireworks to individuals who defiantly say they have $100 at the ready in case law enforcement should issue a fine or confiscate fireworks.

In response to questions about the noise generated from “500 gram” fireworks described as “grenades, nuclear” artillery, “hypnotic and mind splitting” noise makers, Neal said that the State has adopted “safe and sane” statutes. An International Fire Code applies uniform standards that have been adopted by most States and local entities.

White asked how sales had been. Bird said sales were generally up, and that sales are generally best when the Fourth of July falls on a Tuesday. She also noted that the weather had been good.

Summing up the discussion, the Commission may revisit such topics as:

  • Formally banning “floating lanterns” that are considered a hazard because they continue to have an open flame while launched.
  • Requiring rural fire chiefs to complete the required inspections of county licensed firework stands.
  •  Determining if the City and County should jointly approve applications for “special fireworks” to be launched from the Salina County Club, which is within 100 feet of city limits.

Doug Clemens

August 2, 2017 at 8:24 am

The county and city should have like policies. If these greedy fireworks tent owners do not like that then fold up your tents and move on. I am for setting up firing pads right next to these tents and firing morters all hours of the day and see how they like the danger and the noise.

Rande AndTracy Repp

August 2, 2017 at 9:03 am

Libs just can’t stand personal freedom. Back when fireworks were illegal in Salina there was almost mass hysteria when legalizing them was proposed. None of the of the field fires, property damage,or personal injuries ever materialized. Legalize them year round and tax them.

Doug Clemens

August 2, 2017 at 10:03 am

Libs my butt get your head out of yours. This has nothing to do with freedom and probably someone like you supports seatbelt laws. The only DAY FIREWORKS SHOULD BE ALLOWED IS JULY 4TH if you really want to know the truth. That is the holiday and that is a day they should be allowed. There have been many injuries and fires in both the town and county so where have you been? Since the police and sheriff do not have enough people to enforce the laws its time we form groups to patrol to help enforce them. The city has a reasonable period of time and the county needs to follow with them. Once skyfire is over so should all fireworks be.

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