LARNED — After a morning of departmental budget discussions, the Pawnee County Commissioners were ready to talk fireworks on Monday.
In discussions with Pawnee County Attorney Douglas McNett, who prepared the draft resolution, the Commissioners revamped their restrictions on sales of fireworks within the unincorporated areas of the county.
The change in regulations allows for sales operations outside the city limits with an accepted sales application and fee of $350 paid to the Pawnee County Clerk.
McNett advised the commissioners that the previous regulation called for application to be made to the county emergency manager, which presents an accessibility difficulty for those seeking approval. “We need somebody that is more accessible to the public,” McNett said.
McNett said he drafted the county’s ordinance with deference to Larned city’s regulations. “We want to be as consistent as we can,” he said.
McNett also said that he felt that the $350 application fee would be a reasonable charge. As far as compliance issues, the fire marshal would conduct inspections.
Prospective sales organizations would need to present a viable address in the county for approval.
Larned Assembly of God Pastor Ryan Webster said that the revised county ordinance allows his church to sell from its Eighth Street location, which will help facilitate an easier operation. The church building is outside the Larned city limits.
“We’ve sold fireworks in this county for about 10 years,” he said. “We’ve just stayed within the compliancies of the state and the city.
“We’ve been in a tent every year,” he said. “We have to provide security, which isn’t that big a deal. But the worst part of it is storms.
“It seems like every other year there’s a night with a storm and we are loading our entire inventory back into the semitrailer. It’s a lot of work,” he said.
“To be able to sell out of our youth church, we’ll be able to lock the doors for security and walk away every night and not have to worry.”
The ordinance replaces the current resolution enacted in 2018. Resolution No. 20222-R-008 in its entirety, regulating the sales and discharge of fireworks in the county will be available at the Pawnee County Clerk’s Office and posted online at a later date.