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Fireworks still a go in Hays, for now

6/29/2012

By DAWNE LEIKER

dleiker@dailynews.net

According to commissioners, concerns from Hays residents about allowing fireworks within city limits have been voiced to them frequently the past few days.

Fireworks are permitted in the city from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 2, 3 and 4 and allowed to be sold until July 5.

By ordinance, termination of the sale or use of fireworks rests in the hands of Mayor Troy Hickman.

Schwaller and Commissioner Kent Steward told Hickman he has their support should he decide to terminate the use or sale of fireworks.

City staff has determined there is no higher state of danger of fire this year than in years past.

City Manager Toby Dougherty, although he said he would prefer fireworks never be allowed to be discharged in city limits, said he doesn't believe there has been creation of a substantial threat.

Commissioner Henry Schwaller IV disagreed.

"These are very difficult times, and I know it's been hot the last three years, but people are nervous and it's our job to assure them that this city will be safe and taken care of ... that their residences will be protected," Schwaller said.

Steward took Schwaller's comments one step further, encouraging Hickman to ban fireworks, saying he wished they would have been banned a few days ago before fireworks stands opened throughout the community.

He added people not only are afraid, they are angry about the issue.

Hickman said the matter has been weighing on him, and he has been in daily contact with other commissioners and city staff regarding the issue.

"If something happens that we get to the point where we feel we need to take action, we'll do that," he said.