Marion Council votes to limit use of fireworks

Specifics to be discussed at following council meetings

Marion City Hall
Marion City Hall

MARION — The Marion City Council on Thursday unanimously voted to limit the use of consumer fireworks in the city after the Iowa Legislature this year passed a bill allowing the sale of certain fireworks.

The new law allows consumer fireworks to be sold in the state between June 1 and July 8 and between Dec. 10 and Jan. 3.

The council voted to allow residents to use their purchased fireworks on their property for a limited number of days during the periods specified by the law.

The council will set those time restrictions in future council meetings.

Fire Chief Deb Krebill and Police Chief Joe McHale previously recommended the council limit use to June 24 through July 8 and Dec. 31 through Jan. 1.

Marion resident Dewayne Field told the council he was in favor of a ban. Field’s wife was diagnosed with thin lining on her eardrums that makes her sensitive to any loud noise, and continued firework use would put her in pain, Field said.

“Beyond our personal concerns, the quality of life, the family-friendly community ... is now in jeopardy,” he said. “There will be screaming rockets and explosions, followed by howling dogs and crying kids.”

Mayor Nicolas AbouAssaly said he thought limiting the number of days for fireworks was the most reasonable solution.

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“None of us wanted to be in this position,” he said. “People are going to be buying them in this entire area. I think it’s unrealistic to expect that they’re not going to use them. It would be impossible for them to enforce the ban.”

Krebill said she plans to keep track of how many fireworks-related calls the fire department receives in the next year. Last year, fireworks caused three fires, and consumer fireworks caused a dumpster fire just last weekend, she previously said.

Iowa’s new fireworks law allows the sale and discharge of shells, mortars, Roman candles, sky and bottle rockets, firecrackers, aerial and ground spinners, fountains and others.

Previously, only sparklers, snakes and poppers were allowed.

l Comments: (319) 368-8516; makayla.tendall@thegazette.com

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