After hearing from a pair of citizens who requested the council ease its ban on lighting fireworks within city limits, The Dyersville City Council has reaffirmed that it will continue with its policy of banning the practice.
Given that this year’s annual July 3 celebration has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, there has been renewed interest from private citizens wanting to conduct their own backyard fireworks shows.
But in short, the council gave a two-fold no answer to the proposal: the first point being that given the procedural requirements to change or amend an ordinance, nothing could be achieved by Independence Day weekend, and secondly, the council still opposes having citizens lighting fireworks within city limits regardless.
Police Chief Brent Schroeder said while he is disappointed there won’t be a Dyersville fireworks show this year, he is still not in favor of changing the existing policy, believing it is an accident waiting to happen.
“I love fireworks probably more than anybody, but there is a more appropriate place and I think that’s in the rural areas,” Schroeder said.
After the state government changed its policy on fireworks a few years ago, giving municipalities the ability to regulate how fireworks are used, the City Council, Police Department, Fire Department and EMS were all against residents lighting them off on their own within city limits while simultaneously approving a penalty for those who do.
Schroeder said although they have issued citations for those lighting fireworks, typically they will opt to just seize and destroy fireworks, if the party is cooperative with law enforcement.
Citizens can still apply for permits to light fireworks, but it does require a license issued by the state fire marshal’s office and proper insurance.