ASHLAND The city’s Board of Commissioners conducted its first reading of a new firework ordinance on Thursday.
The document states fireworks may only be discharged or used between the hours of noon and 11 p.m. from June 30th through July 4th, on December 31st and any day which Paul G. Blazer High School football team plays a game at Putnam Stadium.
Outside of the approved dates, it would be unlawful to set off fireworks without an approved permit by the City Fire Chief. There will be no fee for a permit. Any person convicted of violating the ordinance would be guilty of a violation set out by state regulations and result in a $250 fine.
The discussion of an ordinance began in July after extensive complaints from residents about fireworks going off at all hours of the night, scaring pets, presenting a fire danger and putting those with fragile medical conditions in jeopardy.
The Fire Chief may grant permits for supervised public displays of fireworks with such public displays handled by a competent display operator, such as Summer Motion.
Discussion at the meeting Thursday focused on the proposed times of noon through 10 p.m.
Commissioner Amanda Clark asked that the time be moved from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. considering annual city fireworks can sometimes take place after 10 p.m.
“If we're going to set them off at 10:15, why can't the public?” said Clark. Commissioners Pat Steen and Matt Perkins concurred.
“I think we don't want to be more strict on the public than we are ourselves” said Perkins.
The Board of Commissioners agreed upon the edit to 11 p.m. with city attorney James Moore commissioned to make the time change. Moore said the ordinance would need to go through another first reading.
The next first reading is scheduled to take place Oct. 25th.