The Perry City Council approved an amended fireworks ordinance during the June 4 meeting.
The council approved a first reading of the ordinance during the May 21 meeting. The first reading reduced the fine from $500 to $250. The reading also extended the use of fireworks from July 4 to July 1-4.
During that meeting, council members asked for input from community members about their views on shooting off fireworks.
Council Member Chuck Schott thanked the citizens who reached out to him before the June 4 meeting. He fielded at least 25 calls and emails from community members.
Schott said during the June 4 meeting that while he appreciated the public reaching out, he still had a problem with the proposed fireworks ordinance.
“I’m still in a quandary because I’m upset with the people who had abused the rules. That’s what brought this to a head,” he said of the discussion surrounding the use of fireworks in Perry.
Schott next addressed Perry Police Department Chief Eric Vaughn. He said Vaughn gave the impression during the May 21 meeting that his officers didn’t enforce the ordinance as strongly.
“You’ve given us the impression that this year you think you can do better. Is that correct?” Schott asked of Vaughn.
Vaughn said the department will enforce whatever ordinance the council passed. While he couldn’t guarantee the success rate, Vaughn said the department would do everything it can to enforce the ordinance.
Council Member Randy McCaulley said he didn’t have quite as many community members reach out to him about the issue. Some wanted to allow fireworks to be shot off, others wanted to ban them. Still others, McCaulley said, would accept fireworks being shot off in a limited time frame.
“The argument for having an extended period of time to celebrate our country’s independence seems kind of strange to me,” he said. “My personal feeling is we should allow this one more year on (July 4) and see if our citizens can act responsibly.”
If the citizens don’t act responsibly, McCaulley said he would be the first to promote banning fireworks completely next year.
Council Members Vicki Klein and Dean Berkland agreed with McCaulley and said they could get behind allowing fireworks on July 4.
“And it falls back on the residents. Either you abide by this ordinance or we will no longer have the fireworks here,” Klein said.
The council approved amending the first reading of the revised fireworks ordinance during the June 4 meeting. The amended ordinance changed the fine to $250 for violations and the time frame for shooting fireworks to 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 4.
The council approved the amended second reading of the ordinance, waiving the third and final reading and adopting the ordinance.
In other council action:The council approved the general engineering agreement with Bolton and Menk to provide engineering services to the City of Perry.The council approved a McCreary Center architectural service agreement with SVPA Architects. The City of Perry intends to conduct a facility needs assessment and facility improvement recommendations report for the present and future facility needs of the McCreary Center. The existing building was built in 1982-83. The assessment and improvement report will help to identify potential repairs, renovations and larger building remodeling needs. “It’s going to be a really good thing. We really need it,” said John Anderson, Perry Parks and Recreation Director. “This should identify the most problematic areas first.”The council approved a request from J & M Display to display fireworks within City of Perry limits on July 4.