Council seeks input on state fireworks law

by Melissa Martin

Brecksville City Council is encouraging residents to share their opinions regarding new state fireworks laws that make it legal for Ohioans to detonate fireworks on July Fourth and other holidays.

Though city officials indicated they are inclined to opt out of Ohio House Bill 172, which grants municipalities the right to adopt their own rules concerning unlicensed fireworks displays, they have distributed a survey before considering changes to ordinances which currently restrict the use of fireworks to professionals only.

Councilwoman Beth Savage said the city planned to distribute the brief questionnaire to all 5,900 residents on the city’s email list on March 15.

“Our goal is to get as much input as we can from the public before we make a decision on how to proceed,” Savage said, noting that the survey is available on the city’s website, and the links have been posted on Facebook and Twitter. She said responses should be restricted to residents 18 and older through Sunday, April 24.

In addition to gauging how residents feel about permitting fireworks in the community, questions also address in which quadrant of the city residents live; areas of concern if fireworks use is permitted; what, if any, holidays residents believe are suitable for fireworks; and if the law is changed in the city, what hours of the day fireworks should be permissible.

Savage said the city will compile the data for distribution at the May 3 council meeting. She said council will welcome further comments and public discussion that night. Once all input is received, city council’s legislation committee plans to make a final recommendation to council, which can vote during its May 17 meeting.

In light of the new law, which takes effect July 1, council is required to pass legislation on the issue regardless of its decision, Mayor Jerry Hruby said. ∞