The overly dry conditions that plagued the state of Kentucky this summer and the burn ban that was placed on Logan County as a result during the July 4th holiday, has prompted the City of Russellville to tighten up on fireworks in the city limits. Another reason is the ability for people to obtain louder fireworks that have become disruptive in the early morning hours.
The city council held a second reading Tuesday evening of an ordinance that regulates when fireworks can be used and also how they are sold. Under the new law, persons may only ignite, fire or explode fireworks authorized by KRS Chapter 227 and the city’s new ordinance during the following dates and times:
- July 1 through July 5, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. each day
- December 24 and 25, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. each day
- From 10 a.m. on December 31 until 12:30 a.m. on January 1
- January 1 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Fireworks, including consumer fireworks, shall not be ignited or discharged from a motor vehicle and shall not be ignited or discharged on property of another without consent of the owner or occupant or on public property.
“Other cities passed similar ordinances like this last year, especially since the state started allowing the use of artillery shells,” said Russellville Mayor Mark Stratton. “Those artillery shells are so much louder than normal fireworks and they can create quite a disturbance.”
According to the mayor, people began shooting fireworks off this year as early as June and it has been disruptive to many other citizens of the city.
“We are not against shooting fireworks, there is just a time and a place to do it, especially with the new and louder ones out there now,” said Stratton, adding that he has been hearing fireworks at 2 and 3 a.m. in morning.
“We are just trying to get it under control a little bit and get in line with what other cities have already done. We didn’t do it last year and after this 4th of July and the burn ban we were under, we decided it was time. It is really a quality of life issue as well as a safety issue,” said Stratton.
Due to the need to closely inspect and monitor the sale of fireworks as well, the City of Russellville is imposing fees to cover the cost of the inspections of facilities that sell fireworks.
The fee for the review, issuance and inspections for an ancillary fireworks retail permit shall be $250 annually. This permit fee shall be in addition to all other occupational licence fees payable to the permittee.
The fee for the review, issuance and inspections for seasonable fireworks retail permit shall be $150 annually. This permit fee shall be in addition to all other occupational licence fees payable to the permittee.
The fee for the review, issuance and inspections for permanent fireworks retail permit shall be $500 annually. This permit fee shall be in addition to all other occupational licence fees payable to the permittee.
All permits and applications required by the ordinance shall be issued by the fire chief, or his designee, and shall meet compliance standards with all state and local fire code regulations. Upon approval from the fire chief, or his designee, and prior to the issuance of any permit, the approved application and all required permit fees shall be tendered to the Russellville City Clerk’s Office.
Any person or business entity planning to set up a tent for the use of fireworks sales, shall first be required to obtain a permit through the building code department. A drawing or site plan showing the size and location of the tent shall accompany the permit application. Proof of all other documentation shall be required at the time of their application. Each tent location shall have a power pole which shall meet the National Electrical Code and shall be inspected by the city electrical inspector.
Each permit for a fireworks sales tent shall be valid no sooner than June 1 and expire no later then July 11. There should be a permit fee of $75 for a tent 1,600 square feet in size and up to $150 for a tent size of 3,200 square feet which is the maximum size allowed by this ordinance.
Any person convicted of violating the ordinance of when to fire off fireworks shall be subject to a fine not less than $25 and not to exceed $1,000. The fire chief may revoke or suspend the permit of any person or business entity that violates the provisions of the ordinance.