City Council approves fireworks rules

These changes will help make new law work better in Fort Dodge

This year the sale of fireworks became legal in Iowa. The new state law allows communities some latitude in regulating their use.

To address concerns expressed by many in our town, the Fort Dodge City Council has finalized new rules that will govern the use of fireworks in our city.

In the summer, fireworks can now only be used from July 1 to July 4. Fireworks are allowed between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. on those days. Also, fireworks can now only be used from 5 p.m. Dec. 31 to 12:30 a.m. Jan. 1.

Penalties for violating the fireworks ordinance were also stiffened. The new city law imposes a $500 fine on people convicted of their first offense violation of the fireworks rules. Previously, that fine was $250.

Before the City Council acted, the state law on fireworks allowed them to be used between June 1 and July 8 and between Dec. 10 and Jan. 3.

The Messenger strongly supports the City Council’s decision to reduce the number of days when fireworks can be used. The new rules should not inhibit anyone who genuinely seeks to celebrate with fireworks the Independence Day or New Year’s holidays. They will, however, help prevent protracted use of fireworks from becoming a nuisance for local residents.