City commission denies requests to shoot off fireworks
Two requests from Concordia residents to be allowed to shoot off fireworks during upcoming events were denied on a 2-2 vote by the city commission during a special meeting Wednesday at City Hall.
Commissioners Christy Hasch and Keaton Snavely voted to approve the requests and Mayor Mark Matthew and commissioner Sam Sacco voted against it.
Commissioner Chuck Lambertz was not in attendance, and with the 2-2 vote, the motion failed.
Kenny Allen, who lives at 1117 Broadway St., requested permission to shoot off fireworks next Tuesday night during a Neighborhood Night Out event he was to host.
Allen said that the fireworks would be shot off on Broadway Street between 11th and 12th Streets, and that everybody on the block was okay with it.
Paula Metro requested permission to shoot off fireworks in the City Park Thursday night following a pool party for incoming fifth grade students.
Metro said that the pool party ends at 9 p.m. and the fireworks would last about five minutes.
“Who is covering the insurance if something happens?” Sacco asked.
Metro said she did not know.
“If something happens, lawyers line up and it is the city they come after,” Sacco said.
Sacco also raised concerns about setting a precedent for requests to shoot off fireworks during the dates already allowed.
Matthew said that he favors being able to light off fireworks just one day a year.
“I am against either one of these because we just had four days of solid noise,” Matthew said.
City code states that the city commission may approve the use of fireworks for celebrations provided that the individuals in charge are experienced in handling fireworks, and the public attending such exhibition is kept at a safe distance.
City clerk Stacey Smith informed the commissioners that she had discussed with the department heads the idea of having a permit process for the fireworks requests so the Police Department and Fire Department can be notified.
“It might be something we take a look at in the future,” Smith said.