Hastings City Council approves changes for fireworks start, end times
HASTINGS, Neb. —
Some folks in Hastings are fired up about an issue many have dealt with holiday after holiday.
An issue regarding the dates and times of when you can sell and set off fireworks came before the City Council on Monday.
The reason behind the change might be obvious. It's because of the noise.
"If you go back to the 80's, you couldn't buy or shoot off fireworks at all in Hastings and so we kind of pendulum went to the other direction in recent years," said Hastings City Administrator Joe Patterson.
Monday night with a five to one approval, the city council passed a change on when folks can set fireworks off.
Previously, Hastings residents were able to start lighting fireworks beginning at 9 a.m. but now won't be allowed until 10 a.m., ending by 10 p.m. with different times during July 3 and the Fourth of July holiday.
It also changes how many days they can be sold from eight days down to seven days.
Joe Patterson, the city administrator says the change comes from concerned citizens.
"It's all about noise. It's about people having to go to work, you know if the Fourth of July is during the week, which it is this year, it's on Wednesday, people being able to sleep, and dogs that have to be tranquilized and all the things associated with the celebration of the Fourth of July," Patterson said.
A few at the meeting spoke against the changes stating it would hurt their firework selling businesses they make a living off of.
"I don't see that being an issue. I think that most of the sales of fireworks get pretty heavy just prior to the 4th and I know a lot of non-profit groups, Hastings college athletics, churches, different school pair of groups, a lot of people sell them as fundraisers, certainly don't want to diminish that," said Patterson.
Hastings Police said last year they received 84 firework-related complaints.
With the change approved, the new days and times for selling and setting off fireworks will be in effect after 15 days.