Goshen News, Goshen, IN

September 5, 2013

Fireworks ordinance tabled again in Nappanee

By DENISE FEDOROW
THE GOSHEN NEWS

— NAPPANEE — The proposed fireworks ordinance for Nappanee has been put on hold once more — at least for two more weeks.

At Monday’s Nappanee City Council meeting, Mayor Larry Thompson asked City Attorney Brian Hoffer to clarify some of the legalities of the proposed ordinance in regards to state statute.

Council members Sam Beachy and Todd Nunemaker were opposed to the ordinance as originally presented, saying it was too restrictive to the number of days that residents would be permitted to enjoy fireworks.  

Hoffer said state statute enables municipalities to deal with consumer fireworks and breaks down fireworks into three categories — sprinkler-type fireworks, consumer fireworks including rocket-type fireworks, and regular fireworks that are used for public displays.

“If there’s a concern whether the city or schools or private entities can shoot off fireworks those (public display fireworks) are not governed by this ordinance. That’s not going to change,” he said. People wanting to obtain a permit for public display fireworks have to receive a permit from state officials and approval from the local fire chief.

Under the proposal as it now stands, Nappanee residents could shoot off fireworks June 29 through July 9 between the hours of 5 p.m. and two hours after sunset; on July 4 between 10 a.m. and midnight, and between 10 a.m. Dec. 31 and 1 a.m. Jan. 1.

As far as being restricted to only allowing fireworks on the dates mentioned in the proposed ordinance, Hoffer said the council could choose to expand upon those dates, just not eliminate them.  

Nunemaker wanted the dates surrounding the 4th to include the weekends before and after the holiday as some parties are held on those weekends. The mayor said the ordinance would be changed to include those weekends.

“That would be acceptable,” Nunemaker said. “How about other holidays, like Memorial Day?”

Thompson said he would include Memorial Day, Labor Day and Patriot’s Day and would bring those changes back to the council to hear the amended ordinance on second reading.

Salary ordinances

In other business, the council unanimously passed on third and final readings two salary ordinances, one for elected officials and one for city employees. The ordinances call for an across-the board increase of 2 percent, with a larger increase approved for the mayor as city officials work to make that position a full-time position.

In the matters, council members heard that:

• The police-sponsored Night Out Against Crime will take place Sept. 10 at West Side Park.

• The Nappanee Parks and Recreation Board will meet Wednesday at 4:30 at West Side Park pavilion and tour the soccer complex under development.

• The first home rehabilitated under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant was sold last week. The Broad Street home was sold to a victim of the Nappanee tornado that hit the city in October 2007.

Council members also changed the time of the next council meeting to 6 p.m. so they can attend Apple Festival Grand Marshal ceremony.