Barton County officials weren’t ready to put the kibosh on fireworks for this Independence Day, but that’s mainly because it’s so late in the game.
There is certainly concern that the current dry conditions are going to be pretty much made to order for disaster if people are not careful with fireworks this Fourth of July.
Everyone understands this is a fun time for a lot of people.
And they understand that it is also an important money-making time for others.
But they, frankly, don’t want it to be another nightmare event that costs local taxpayers a pot of money.
When fireworks are not handled carefully in any year, they lead to a lot of fire calls.
But in a year when conditions are as dry as they are this year, the cost can pretty much sink a fire department’s annual budget.
And the taxpayers end up footing the bill for that fun that ends up destroying someone’s private property.
According to a report from the Associated Press, at least six western Kansas counties have already banned fireworks for this year.
It reported that Finney, Hamilton, Haskell, Stanton, Grant and Stevens counties have all ordered that there be no fireworks.
Ulysses, for example, has announced it will host a community picnic, in place of what it usually spends on fireworks.
We’re still having fireworks here, but those who enjoy them need to take their responsibility seriously. They need to use them responsibly to avoid injury and damage. They need to follow the law about when they shoot them off. And they need to clean up after themselves.
The thing is, in the current economic climate, it won’t take a lot for those who do not care about fireworks to get tired of paying more in tax dollars to clean up the messes caused by those who do.
Shutting down fireworks all over the state could be a much more common agenda, if they aren’t used responsibly.
— Chuck Smith