Councilman Dan Moore brought up the issue at the end of Monday’s city council meeting — saying that 10,000 milliary veterans in the area are impacted negatively by fireworks. He says one of the biggest solutions they’ve come up with is educating everyone in Sioux City on the impact of fireworks on veterans and those who have health issues as well.
Moore wants to run public service ads asking local residents to not use fireworks until the legally permitted time of 1 p.m. December 31st through 12:30 a.m. New Year’s Eve. Resident Mark Solheim has been working on the veterans fireworks PSA plan with Moore. “What actually happens in a person’s mind when they hear these things is the fear, the reoccurrence, a terrible time frame that you wish you could forget — and you never can,” Solheim says.
Mayor Bob Scott says he would have no problem with going back to a ban of fireworks if people won’t comply with the legal time frame to shoot them off. “Most cities our size have voted already to get rid of them — and I am about at that point,” Scott says. “If we can’t get any cooperation, if we can’t have empathy for veterans who have served this country, then you know what, there is only one path for me and that is to vote to do away with it and I’ll take all the heat that I am going to get.”
Mayor Scott would also like to see a stronger penalty against the homeowner where the fireworks violation takes place. He says he wants to see the homeowner arrested. “I don’t care that you have to see the guy doing it. Even doing it in your backyard, If you are in violation — I don’t care. You are responsible for your house,” Scott says.
The fireworks proposal will be on the agenda for next Monday’s city council agenda.
(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)