SL City Council Votes “No” On Fireworks

The Storm Lake City Council Monday afternoon approved on first reading an ordinance that would ban the use of class one fireworks.

City manager Keri Navratil said class one fireworks includes firecrackers and aerial fireworks, which the city received the most complaints about. The ordinance does allow the use of class two fireworks, such as sparklers and items on the ground that don’t make much noise… but only between five and ten p-m on July third and fourth.

During a public hearing on the ordinance, several people voiced opposition to allowing any fireworks… citing time frames not respected, dogs traumatized, fireworks remnants found on the roof or yard, and fireworks still being shot off in mid-August.

Two sellers of fireworks told the council they would prefer a compromise, allowing class one fireworks, but during a shorter time period. Fireworks seller Neil Gustafson told the council he had many customers wanting fun things for the kids, and noted there were people who followed the rules.

The council voted four-to-zero for the ordinance. Council member Dan Anderson noted class two fireworks are safe for children… while council member Tyson Rice suggested the police department give tickets to violators rather than warnings. Police chief Mark Prosser said they tried to do education this year, which he admitted wasn’t effective. He said violations would be according to state code… and fireworks permits for special events would still be available from the fire chief.

The ordinance needs council approval on two more readings before it goes into effect. Once final approval is given, it would be in effect for the December and January fireworks period allowed by the state.