Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nixa allows use of fireworks in city(Discharge to be permitted on July 4, New Year's Eve.)

DATE: Tara Muck • News-Leader
BY:  April 13, 2010
DETAILS: Nixa -- Celebrating the Fourth of July and the new year with fireworks will no longer be illegal inside the city of Nixa.

The Nixa City Council Monday unanimously passed an ordinance to allow fireworks to be discharged on July 4 from 2-11 p.m. and on Dec. 31 from 2 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 1.

In the past, it had been legal to purchase fireworks inside the city limits, as long as they weren't being shot inside the limits.

But that hasn't stopped people from doing it.

Nixa Police Chief James Bacon said the department receives over 300 calls in a two-day period around those holidays.

Because it had been illegal, police officers would be dispatched to the complaints.

By making it legal during certain hours, Bacon said it could cut down some of the call volumes.

Nixa Fire Chief Jimmy Sebree was on the other side of that argument.

Sebree said the department ran about 25 grass and debris fires last year caused by fireworks. He also noted the danger involved with setting them off.

The fire chief also said he believes the city should continue to be proactive, the way it has with prohibiting smoking in public places and having a seat belt law.

"We've set a standard," Sebree said of the city. "Opening up fireworks is only going to confuse things more."

But most residents who spoke during the council meeting were in favor of allowing the shooting of fireworks.

Ken Thrasher of Nixa asked the council to consider the fuel savings generated if officers didn't have to respond to complaints regarding fireworks.

"By allowing people to shoot off fireworks during the Fourth of July between specific hours is going to keep (police officers) focused on going after the more important calls; not spending taxpayer dollars on what accumulates on gas, time and wear and tear on their vehicles," Thrasher said.


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