Fireworks regulations discussed at county work session

Meghan Flynn
Garden City Telegram
Fireworks light up the sky as the wind stretches their shapes July 4 during Garden City's annual fireworks display originating in the Arkansas River bed area.

Firework regulations were discussed by the Finney County Commission at its work session Feb. 2.

The commission has previously discussed firework regulations on Oct. 20, at a joint meeting between Garden City, Finney County and the city of Holcomb, the commissioners discussed the topic with the GCPD, Finney County Sheriff’s Office and Holcomb Police Department but took no action.

Commissioner Dave Jones at the meeting said he has been approached by community members and he agrees with one woman who wrote a letter to him that the noise and length of time the fireworks are allowed to be shot off is too long but does not agree with her idea that they should not go higher than 6 feet.

"I base that on a conversation I had several years ago with (the previous fire chief) that the fireworks that go up 300 feet cause less fires than those that are 6 feet and on the ground," he said.

Garden City Fire Chief Bill Beatty said that information is accurate.

Garden City Commissioner Troy Unruh came to the work session and said he has also received communication from community members about shortening the number of days fireworks are allowed, particularly the number of days they are allowed to be sold.

"If we could compress fireworks from July 1-5 and always including a weekend, July 4 and the day after, that might be an opportunity for people to celebrate, but also limit somewhat the number for fireworks," he said.

Commissioner Lon Pishny said the city of Holcomb has reduced the hours fireworks are allowed to be shot off. They're slightly different than Garden City's, and he feels there is a need for consistency throughout Finney County in regards to days and hours they can be shot off and sale days.

"I know we're not voting, but my vote would be for consistency, whatever that might be, if it's less days, different hours and so forth," he said.

Commissioner William Clifford said he has no objects to the sale time, just the period of use for fireworks.

"Personally as an eye surgeon and having to deal with eye injuries from fireworks yearly, the shorter the period the better as far as I'm concerned," he said.