Based on the number of complaints it has received concerning late-night fireworks, the Nicholasville City Commission will revisit the issue during the Aug. 6 workshop with the hopes of adding more pop into its ordinance.
“I have had a tremendous amount of calls over the last three or four weeks,” Mayor Russ Meyer said. “We knew when we created that ordinance that after this fireworks season, we would have to go back and revisit it, and I want to make sure that we go back and revisit it when it’s fresh on our minds.”
City commissioner Johnny Collier said the crux of the problem is at the state level but that local governments are the ones left with trying to get a handle on it.
Collier said when the state allowed the sale of Class C fireworks that include bottle rockets, Roman candles and larger items that shoot exploding fire balls into the air, it opened a Pandora’s box for local governments.
“The whole problem with the fireworks stuff is the fact that the state passed it,” Collier said. “That wasn't a local decision. We're going to investigate to see what we actually can do and how far we can go with it because we've had so many complaints about people shooting fireworks at all hours of the night, and they're shooting those big things late at night and it's causing all kinds of problems.”
The city adopted its current fireworks ordinance in May.
According to the ordinance, fireworks may only be used during the following times:
• between noon and midnight July 1 through July 4 regardless of the day of the week
• between noon Dec. 31 and 12:30 a.m. Jan. 1 regardless of the day of the week
• between noon and 11 p.m. on Memorial Day
• between noon and 11 p.m. on Labor Day
• between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Fines for failing to adhere to the ordinance’s requirements range from $50 to $1,000 and not more than 30 days in jail, depending on the violation.
In the weeks leading up to and after the Fourth of July, the city’s police department, commissioners, mayor and city-hall workers have fielded scores of complaints.
“I think everybody is hearing the same thing,” Meyer said.
Police Chief Barry Waldrop said his department wrote two fireworks-related citations and issued several warnings.
“We had to shut down quite a few (neighborhood) fireworks (displays),” Waldrop said. “What we did was we warned people, and if we had to come back, we wrote citations. But we need to tweak our ordinance and put a little more strength and get serious about enforcing it.”
The commission will discuss the issue during the Aug. 6 workshop. The workshop is open to the public and will begin at 5 p.m. at the city-hall conference room.