The Great Bend City Council will hold a special meeting a noon Monday at the City Office, 1209 Williams, to consider the discharge of fireworks on July 3, City Administrator Howard Partington said Thursday.
The matter came up during the council’s Monday night goal-setting session after the Barton County Commissioner earlier in the day approved fireworks on July 3 in unincorporated areas of the county only. By Tuesday morning, the requisite number of council members (three) had requested a special meeting, and Partington along with Mayor Mike Allison started calling to set a time and date.
Council members Allene Owen, Joel Jackson and Mike Zinn made the request. Five council members have agreed to attend the meeting, which enough of the seven-member council to conduct business.
According to the meeting agenda, Linda Barnes of T&L Fireworks had contacted council members and asked that the city hold a special meeting.
The current ordinance reads: “It is unlawful for any person to fire or discharge any fireworks in the city, except on the fourth day of July between the hours of ten a.m. and twelve midnight on said date, unless the fourth of July falls on a Sunday, and then between the hours of twelve noon and twelve midnight on said day, and from ten a.m. on July 3, 2015, to twelve midnight,. provided further that no fireworks shall be discharged in any city park. The governing body may, in its discretion, grant permission at any time for the public display of fireworks by responsible individuals or organizations when such display shall be of such character and so located, discharged and fired as not to be a fire hazard and endanger persons or surrounding property; and in no case shall such display be held within four hundred twenty feet of any building in the city.”
The amendment, which applies only to this year, would allow the discharge of fireworks from 10 a.m. to midnight that Friday.
Elsewhere in the county, Hoisington and Pawnee Rock will allow fireworks on July 3. Ellinwood and Claflin will not.
The county-wide discharge of fireworks on both Friday, July 3, and Saturday, July 4, was OKed by the County Commission following a split decision Monday morning.
The resolution permitting the extra day for feting the Fourth was requested and supported by commission Chairman Kenny Schremmer. He saw it as an opportunity to help fireworks vendors impacted when drought conditions forced a county ban in 2012.
However, some on the commission agreed with the fire chiefs from the communities in the county in opposing the move.