Nebraska-based fireworks supplier, “Bellino Fireworks” will sell recreational fireworks on Perry’s Hy-Vee property and is now open to the public from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. through July 5. Perry family, Kerry Corrigan and brother Kris Corrigan are running the tent this summer.
According to the Bellino Fireworks website, the non-profit fireworks dealer is the largest in the Midwest, which now operates in over twenty-five locations in Iowa.
Bellino Fireworks advertises for summer employment, offering positions such as Tent Managers, those who fulfill the responsibility of managing a staff, inventory control and scheduling.
Requirement for the position involves a training meeting in June, an orientation of which Kerry Corrigan attended in Omaha. Individuals receive a payment ranging from $1,500 to $2,500, as well as $4,500 to $5,500 for organizations.
In order to sell fireworks on the Hy-Vee property, Hy-Vee manager Matt Rohe said Hy-Vee’s corporate attorney looked at it before the property gave Bellino Fireworks the approval to sell.
The tent must be at least 200 feet from both the Hy-Vee store as well as a gas station.
“Hy-Vee has come out and set further guidelines that are above the state,” Rohe explained.
In order to set up a fireworks shop, the City of Perry requires a transit merchant permit, and the Perry Police Department will later run a background check. The city offers an application to those who wish to sell, which covers a certificate of inspection as well as a sales tax permit.
“With the new laws, this was something new for all of us,” City Clerk, Paula Rychnovsky commented.
The fireworks ordinance
In March, the Iowa Senate made recreational fireworks use legal in Iowa from the dates of June 1 through July 8, as well as Dec. 10 to Jan. 3. Following the change, Perry’s City Council met to create a fireworks ordinance which limits the recreational use of fireworks to a window lasting from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on July 4.
“The basic things you can always use are the things that have always been legal,” Chief Eric Vaughn of The Perry Police Department said.
Common items such as firecrackers, sparklers, snakes, poppers are allowed, whereas items such as bottle rockets and display fireworks are only allowed during the ordinance time frame.
Those who use fireworks during the window face up to a $500 penalty fine if any guidelines are broken: users must be at least 18 years of age, fireworks are only allowed on personal property or on property that previously gave consent for usage, fireworks can not be used if the user is above the alcohol limit or under the influence of drugs, and fireworks cannot be shot off near public property such as parks, street sidewalks, the hospital or a care facility, as well as the cemetery.
“They’re not the fireworks that I grew up with years and years ago,” Chief Vaughn described. “They’re more display.”
A press release from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) encourages users to stay away from using fireworks during the holiday: “Independence Day and fireworks go hand in hand, but fireworks shouldn’t go in consumers’ hands. That’s the message the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is reinforcing this Fourth of July. Fireworks annually cause devastating burns, injuries, fires, and even death, making them too dangerous to be used safely by consumers.”
In a previous interview, Chief Chris Hinds of the Perry Fire Department described how the direction of wind can change where fireworks generate towards.
“Bottle rockets are very popular,” Chief Hinds said. “You cannot control - no matter how hard you try, you cannot control where they’ll end up.”
Hinds asks the public to be responsible when handling the fireworks.
“Be mindful of your surroundings or neighborhood,” Hinds said. “If your neighbor says no, be respectful of them.”