Lakeside bans fireworks

Friday, October 12, 2018

Those with leftover bottle rockets from the 4th of July in Lakeside will have to find something else to do on New Year’s.

The City of Lakeside has banned the use of fireworks within city limits for 363 days of the year, joining other towns in northwest Iowa putting on heavy restrictions after the statewide legalization of sales in 2017.

The fireworks resolution, passed by Lakeside City Council on Tuesday, bans the explosion of any first or second-class consumer fireworks within the city’s corporate limits except for on July 3 and 4 between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. It does not prohibit sale or possession of such items.

The resolution also includes a clause preventing minors from using the fireworks.

The city felt that if fireworks were allowed to be sold in town, per state law, then they should be allowed to be used, said City Clerk Jackie Stief. The regulation, which still allows for first-class use, comes in contrast to other nearby towns that ban use altogether. Stief said the desire was to simply curb extended use, and the noise that comes with it, for a month before and after Independence Day.

A spike in nuisance complaints in Storm Lake and Alta prompted sharp regulations, with Storm Lake banning first-class fireworks use altogether. A dramatic increase in fireworks-related emergency department visits in Buena Vista County also reinforced Storm Lake’s decision, as the number went from 56 in 2016 to 132 in 2017.

Even city shows did not prove to be completely safe this year. A family in Newell was seriously injured at a public fireworks display put on by the Newell Fire Department in July after a mortar tipped over during the shooting. The injuries required burn unit treatment in Iowa City with removal of damaged skin, skin grafts and continual wound care.

Violators of the fireworks ban in Storm Lake can be cited with a simple misdemeanor and a fine of up to $500.

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