Union residents will not be allowed to discharge fireworks within city limits this Fourth of July holiday.
A special meeting of the board of aldermen was called Monday to discuss the possible fire hazard of discharging fireworks. Aldermen voted to amend an ordinance to ban fireworks for the 2012 July 4th holiday only.
“We had very high concerns about letting citizens discharge fireworks,” said Mayor Mike Livengood, adding that a recommendation to ban fireworks came from both the state fire marshal and the local fire marshal. “It’s bad out there.”
Authorities across the state have been urging people to use extreme caution as the holiday approaches due to excessively dry conditions.
Union’s reversal on fireworks comes just one year after an ordinance was amended to allow fireworks in the Union city limits on July 4 only, with location and time restrictions. That ordinance was approved in June 2011.
Livengood stressed that the fireworks ban would be for this year only.
Alderman Dustin Bailey questioned how complaints would be handled, since the ban came about quickly.
Police Chief Norman Brune said complaints would be handled on an individual basis. In most cases, he said, officers would contact the person and notify them of the ban. The department may confiscate the fireworks if there is no one “of age” to monitor.
To notify residents of the ordinance change, a Code Red message was sent out.
The notification advised residents of the cancellation of the regularly scheduled fireworks as well as the ban for residents shooting off fireworks, according to City Administrator Russell Rost.
Rost asked that all residents of the fire district use extreme caution while there is a high risk for fires.
The Code Red calls were initiated after the ordinance was amended Monday night. The 29-second message will be delivered to approximately 5,500 residents.
A roll-call vote was taken to amend the ordinance and it passed unanimously, 6-0. Two alderman, Robert Schmucke and Paul Arand, were not present at the special meeting.