City leaders encouraged to act quickly on fireworks ordinance

Clear Lake city leaders are being encouraged to adopt a new ordinance which will restrict the use of fireworks within the city.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tim Coffey told the Council Monday night his board is concerned about the safety of visitors in light of the recent legalization of fireworks in Iowa.

Coffey noted an event such as Clear Lake’s Fourth of July celebration typically brings in 75,000 to 100,000 guests to the community.  “I would hate to see anyone injured or killed at one of our events, ruining the reputation of Clear Lake or the Chamber.”

Coffey asked City leaders to consider a complete or partial ban of fireworks within the city limits, or perhaps on city property.

A current ordinance in effect requires a permit to use fireworks and proof of insurance.

“The City needs to be proactive (on this matter) because we are a destination area,” said Coffey.

City Administrator Scott Flory suggested he and Coffey get together with the city’s police and fire chiefs to discuss the issue and bring a proposed ordinance for the Council to consider.

“There are a number of cities in Iowa acting on this issue,” said Flory.

Councilman Mike Callanan pointed out that if the city hopes to have an ordinance in place prior to the July 4 holiday, it must act quickly.  Typically three meetings are needed for passage of an ordinance to allow for three readings.  Currently only two meetings are scheduled prior to the holiday, so city leaders may add a special meeting to their calendar.

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