Fireworks ordinance passes first reading

NAPPANEE — Fireworks have been causing Police Chief Julie Dijkstra and her department some headaches lately.
Dijkstra told the Nappanee town council during its July 15 meeting that her office handled an abundance of calls about fireworks being set off in residential areas.
“The complaints are from a lot of people who don’t know that we don’t have an ordinance on this,” the police chief said.
“Some who think 11 p.m. is too late for these, and others who think setting them off six weeks before the Fourth (of July) is too soon.”
Council members reviewed state law on fireworks and adopted those same guidelines for an ordinance.
Two of the three council members present voted in favor of passing the law.
Sam Beachy voted against the measure. Jeff Kitson and Jacob Dermott each voted in favor of the ordinance.
“It’s not that I’m against it,” Beachy said. “I just feel like it’s not really being abused, so why limit it?”
The ordinance passed on first reading. It now faces two more readings before its official adoption.
Fireworks identified in the measure as legal to use within the city include
• Sparklers,
• Ground Spinners,
• Cone Fountains,
• Wheels,
• Cylindrical Fountains,
• Bottle Rockets,
• Roman Candles,
• and Fire Crackers.
By state law only individuals 18 years of age, or older, can purchase fireworks. Anyone under 18 may only use the approved fireworks in the presence of an adult.
Fireworks are allowed from 9 a.m. to midnight on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and New Year’s Eve.
For all other days, fireworks can be discharged between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.
The Nappanee town council meets the first and third Mondays of each month, 7 p,m., in council chambers – located inside Nappanee Municipal Center, 300 W. Lincoln St.