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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • City postpones fireworks show until later date

  •      The City Commission met Monday evening to discuss the upcoming 4th of July holiday and decide if, due to recent weather conditions, public or private fireworks will be allowed.


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  •      The City Commission met Monday evening to discuss the upcoming 4th of July holiday and decide if, due to recent weather conditions, public or private fireworks will be allowed.
         After much discussion, it was decided that the city would ban the discharge of all private fireworks, despite previously passing a resolution allowing them on the 4th and 5th of July only.
         "We didn't get the precipitation the past few weeks we were hoping for," said Ken Strobel, city manager for the city of Dodge CIty. "So there are many concerns about possible fires."
         Earlier on Monday at the County Commission meeting, commissioners decided to continue the burn ban for another 30 days, this includes fireworks.
         Jerry Shelly, the owner of Shelley's Hometown Fireworks, said that if the city decided to ban all fireworks for the 4th of July it would just be punishing the responsible citizens of Dodge City.
         "The people who are going to be reckless with their fireworks, and are most likely to start a fire, aren't going to care if there is a ban in place. They will still set them off," said Shelly. "The majority of people, who would be responsible with their fireworks and just take their families to the public show are the ones you are punishing here."
         Shelly was also concerned that Dodge City residents would travel to other communities to set off their fireworks or to see professional shows, taking revenue out of the city.
         "I'm going to error on the side of safety on this issue," said Mayor Rick Sowers, "and the way I see it, no one has control of a firework once it's set off, professional or private, so I think a ban is the safest choice."
         Dodge City Fire Chief Kevin Norton said that although the public show has firefighters on hand for potential fires, because it has been so dry lately, it could quickly get out of control.
         "I have received several calls the last few days asking about what will happen with the fireworks show this year," said Norton, "and most people are concerned about potential fires, and support moving the show to a later date when conditions are safer."
         Commissioner Brain Delzeit was the only commissioner to vote in favor of continuing the public show on the 4th, stating that by moving the show to a later date will just cause more people to set off their private fireworks, which would be more dangerous.
         "It public show is no more dangerous than private individuals setting off fireworks," said Delzeit, "in fact it's probably more safe because of all the fire fighters on hand."
         In the end, the commissioners voted 4-0 to ban the private fireworks and 3-1 to move the public show to a later date. A new date for the public show has not been decided yet.  
    Page 2 of 2 - Reach Julia Kazar at (620) 408-9913 or e-mail her at julia.kazar@dodgeglobe.com
    Editors note: More news from this meeting will be covered later in the week.
     

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