City Government

Fireworks restrictions move forward

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An ordinance limiting the use of consumer fireworks in Crawfordsville moved forward Monday.

The City Council voted 6-0, with member Jennifer Lowe absent, to pass the first reading of the measure restricting fireworks to certain holidays.

Residents could set off fireworks on and around the Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and the Chinese New Year, which falls on Feb. 12 in 2021.

The proposal follows growing complaints to the mayor’s office about fireworks, which under state law can be set off year-round. The state allows local communities to set stricter rules.

“I agree that, you know, we need to celebrate the freedoms in our country and ... we can do that for a few days and then it’s time to cut it off,” council president Andy Biddle said before the vote.

The measure adds fireworks to the city’s noise ordinance. Legal consumer fireworks would be allowed from 5 a.m. to midnight June 29-July 3 and July 5-9. The window is from 10 a.m. to midnight on Independence Day.

Firecrackers can also be part of New Year’s celebrations from 10 a.m. New Year’s Eve to 1 a.m. New Year’s Day.

Residents observing the Chinese New Year would be allowed to celebrate with fireworks from 3 to 9 p.m. on Chinese New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year’s Day and the following three days.

Fines for violating the ordinance range from $100 on the first offense to $500 for the third and subsequent offenses.

The ordinance gives a “sensible” timeframe for making fireworks a part of holiday celebrations, councilman Ethan Hollander said.

It requires two more readings before taking effect.

Changing the noise ordinance may not stop at fireworks. Councilman Jeff Lucas suggested revisiting the rest of the list.

“If you look at some of the Harleys (motorcycles) and gigantic trucks rolling through town at 120 decibels, that will probably be the next thing we need to address because it’s probably a lot more common downtown,” Lucas said.

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