Cedar Falls City Council passes first ordinance banning firework - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls City Council passes first ordinance banning fireworks completely

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A complete fireworks ban could be coming to Cedar Falls, meaning you can still purchase fireworks, but you wouldn't be allowed to use them.

The Cedar Falls city council voted to ban fireworks from being set off in the city, during Monday night's meeting. The council was split on, voting 4 to 3 in favor of the first ordinance. If two more ordinance readings are approved by city council, it will then be adopted and become official. 

During Monday nights meeting, there was no debate among council members and zero public input, which is a stark contrast to the conversation regarding fireworks over the past six months. 

Council members Frank Darrah, Mark Miller, John Runchey, and Dave Wieland voted in favor of the ban. In opposition,council members Tom Blanford, Susan DeBuhr, and Nick Taibur voted against the ban.

"Not allowing people to use them at any point, is gonna create more of a problem," said Councilman Blanford. "Because people are going to purchase them, they're going to want to shoot them off, and i think they're going to so and then it's just going to create an enforcement problem."

Blanford says it's been a topic the council has mauled over for the last six months. Blanford says he believed the window for shooting off fireworks was a manageable compromise. 

However, neighbors like Debra Davis don't necessarily agree. 

"It's a great idea, I think it should be banned," said Davis. "It was annoying because so many people were just popping them off. Even when it was like one-two o'clock in the morning-they were still popping fireworks."    

Councilman Frank Darrah says he was originally for the ban, but wanted to hear from his constituents. After hearing from the public, he ultimately voted in favor of the ban. 

"They're dangerous and they should be presented by professionals," said Darrah. "I love going to fireworks displays but i don't think young people or even adults necessarily should have that ready access to them."

Regardless of the ban, both Darrah and Blanford agree people will continue to shoot off fireworks.

"I believe people will still shoot fireworks off," said Darrah. "Whether it's legal or not. They did it for 75 years when it was illegal anyway. I'm not going to expect our police officers to go out for everyone who throws a firecracker out in the back of their car, we're going to pull them over. It's hard to enforce either way."

Blanford worries the continued use of fireworks under a complete ban would have residents looking to law enforcement to control. 

"That's the biggest concern I have is that next July we're going to be pressuring our police force to do something about the complete ban, and I'm not sure what options are available to them," said Blanford. "Even if we double the size of our police force, we still can't possibly monitor that many people in this large of an area."

The ordinance will have to be approved on two more readings at two future council meetings before it is adopted. 

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