This is the second year that fireworks may be legally discharged in Union on July 4, but Union police are warning residents to follow the rules and to be safe.
Last year, aldermen agreed to change the ordinance that had prohibited the discharging of fireworks. The law now states that fireworks can be discharged from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4, only.
There are some location restrictions, including within 300 feet of gas pumps or fireworks stands.
“They can be discharged in the city as long as they are doing it safely and following the guidelines,” said Police Chief Norman Brune.
He added that people must use common sense and not shoot fireworks at people, or into or from motor vehicles, which is included in the ordinance.
“I encourage people to be safe and monitor any children who are going to shoot fireworks,” Brune said.
According to Brune, the law does not give residents the freedom to shoot fireworks any other day than July 4.
“We will be strict on fireworks before July 4 and after July 4,” he said. “We ask parents who buy them for their kids to keep the fireworks away from them until July 4.”
During the weeks leading up to July 4 and following that date, police normally receive less than 50 police calls regarding fireworks
In the past, about one-third of those calls came on July 4.
Brune has said that he does not anticipate officers will issue peace disturbance citations on July 4.
He explained that in order to issue those tickets, noise must be “unreasonable and unknowingly.”
However, Brune said, police will not ignore violations of the fireworks ordinance.
Officers will confiscate fireworks if they are discharged prior to July 4, he said, and he still expects officers to be busy responding to fireworks calls July 4.
Brune noted that there will be an opportunity for residents to view the annual Jaycees fireworks display Thursday, July 5, the opening day of the Franklin County Fair.
The fireworks will be discharged from the baseball fields north of the Union Splash-N-Swimplex.
Brune explained that there are numerous locations in which the fireworks can be viewed, including from the fairgrounds.
‘People attending the fair should have really good visibility for the fireworks display” he said.
Brune added that there will be additional officers on duty at the park and the fairgrounds because due to the activities.
The main city park also is a great location to view the display, Brune said.
“That is a perfect place,” he added. “Right across the street from the pool in the grass.”
Following is a list of other areas recommended by Brune to view the fireworks display:
• City tennis courts/volleyball courts;
• North Christina Avenue, College Avenue area;
• Brown Street and other residential streets to the immediate north of the railroad tracks; and
• Clark-Vitt Elementary, and Union Middle School.