Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

August 22, 2013

Proposed fireworks ordinance splits Nappanee council

NAPPANEE — A usually single-minded Nappanee City Council is divided over whether or not to enact an ordinance restricting fireworks usage in the city. After some discussion and an amendment to the proposed ordinance before a vote was called for, the ordinance was passed on first reading with a vote of 3-2.

Councilman Todd Nunemaker shared several of his concerns about the proposed ordinance, including that it contained what he felt was confusing language in the section that states fireworks are allowed (on certain dates) until two hours after sunset.

Nunemaker said he checked what time the sun set on July 4 and it was around 9:22.

“It seems more common sense to just say 11:30 instead of ‘two hours after sunset,’” he said.

Clerk-Treasurer Kim Ingle replied that the verbiage comes directly from the state statute so it cannot be changed. “We can’t be more restrictive or lenient. We have to adopt it as is,” she said.

Nunemaker also said the dates surrounding the July 4 holiday should be extended to at a minimum nine days, for those years that the holiday falls in the middle of the week, or for those who host Independence Day parties the weekend before or after the holiday.

The current proposed ordinance, which is the same as Elkhart County adopted, allows for consumers to use fireworks only on 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 on Dec. 31 between 10 a.m. until 1 a.m. on Jan. 1.

Ingle again explained that the dates listed comes directly from the state statute and can’t be changed.

Nappanee Mayor Larry Thompson said if people want to discharge fireworks at other times than listed in the ordinance they can apply for a permit and receive approval through the Board of Public Works and Safety. However, someone pointed out the way the ordinance is written the permits would only be approved for use on governmental property — not the way the city wants to be able to approve usage.

Ingle said the council does have leeway as far as the permit goes.

“So, we can change item two but nothing else?” Nunemaker asked.

Ingle said that is correct and the reason is because that portion of the ordinance is local.

 Police Capt. Doug Weaver said currently officers use the city’s noise ordinance to curtail fireworks use.

The council first voted to amend the ordinance to allow the board of works to approve permits other than just on government property then voted to pass the ordinance restricting the use on first reading.

Councilmen Jeff Kitson, Mike Stull and Jacob Dermott voted for the ordinance while councilmen Todd Nunemaker and Sam Beachy voted against it.

After the meeting Nunemaker said if they were able to change the ordinance he might have voted differently. Both councilmen were in agreement with the ordinance as to the time limit on hours, but felt the ordinance allowed for too few days a year.

“I don’t believe in a lot of regulation anyway but I feel this (ordinance) needs to be extended to more than just a couple of days,” Nunemaker said. “I’m not opposed to restricting the hours or type of fireworks but I’d like to see this be a little less restrictive.”

Salary ordinances

The council unanimously passed two salary ordinances on second reading: One for the elected official’s salary and one for city employees.

Thompson told Fales, “We’re working toward something we started years ago — making the mayor’s position full time.”

The ordinance calls for an across the board 2-percent increase for all full-time employees. At the last meeting it was reported that city officials were able to give this increase because of fewer employees, however, it doesn’t guarantee the raises if a budget cannot be met using these figures.

Text Only
Local News
  • GN140423 Wakarusa Musical 3 'A Kid's Life' portrays sudden techno loss WAKARUSA — The young people of our present day society don’t remember ever having lived their lives without some element of electronic gadgetry becoming involved. For them, it would be difficult to fathom the possibility of a world “off the grid.” So the fourth- and fifth-grade students of Wakarusa Elementary School will offer a comedic and chaotic interpretation of such a dilemma with their upcoming musical “A Kid’s Life.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 stress relief 03 Furry pals help GC students with dog days of finals GOSHEN - Goshen College students took a break from preparing for final exams to hangout with some four-legged friends Monday afternoon.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 FF spring play_3547 Fairfield students to present Oscar Wilde classic BENTON — Fairfield’s musicals and plays have recently left their status as an extracurricular activity and come under the wing of the Performing Arts Department and under the direction of Andrew Muth.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • Sheriff Brad Rogers_0657 Sheriff travels to Nev. ranch in fed dispute Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers has weighed in on a controversy surrounding a Nevada rancher, and visited the scene of the struggle.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140209 snow storm 05 Elkhart, LaGrange counties denied FEMA aid GOSHEN — Elkhart and LaGrange counties were not among the 19 Indiana counties that had financial aid approved Tuesday by FEMA for a January winter storm.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep Roundup BASEBALL Falcons garner road win The Fairfield Falcons posted a 5-4 victory Tuesday evening at Rochester. Dustin Everage (three innings), Andrew Bobeck (three) and Austin Christner (one) pitched for the winners. Everage struck out three to earn the

    April 23, 2014

  • Akela.jpg SLIDESHOW: Pets of the Week Available cats and dogs at the Humane Society of Elkhart County. These loving animals are looking for permanent homes.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN0423 BC IN Common Core Indiana panel approves new school standards

    A panel of Indiana business and education leaders were met with boos and jeers from attendees after they voted overwhelmingly Monday to support new math and English standards set to replace the Common Core in classrooms this fall.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The week in photos

    April 22, 2014

  • GN140421 board of works BOARD OF WORKS: Properties deemed uninhabitable

    Repairs still need to be made to two Goshen properties that had been targeted by the city Board of Public Works and Safety.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results
AP Video
Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs