Parkersburg may take another look at regulating fireworks

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 5:18 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - An effort to regulate the private use of fireworks in the city of Parkersburg is dead-for now.

Second reading on a measure restricting use of fireworks to specific dates-including the Fourth of July-died for lack of a motion at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

Councilwoman Sharon Kuhl, who had supported the measure, told us Wednesday she’s waiting to see if West Virginia lawmakers act next winter on a measure allowing what are called “silent fireworks” allowed in other countries. Kuhl says they have been allowed in Italy.

Before Tuesday night’s action by council, residents addressed the issue in the meeting’s public forum.

”Who’s going to be responsible if these people setting off fireworks are not trained to do it?,” asked resident Julie Monroe. “Someone could get hurt. If you don’t believe it, ask (the family of) the Columbus Blue Jackets. He lost his life because someone didn’t know what they were doing.” Monroe was referring to the much-publicized death of Matiss Kivlenieks, from an errant mortar from a fireworks accident in Michigan on July 4.

“If you all want to have fireworks legal, then it should only be legal around those city councilmen’s homes,” mused local resident and businessman Doug Kreinik. “That way, you can enjoy sudden noise all night long, weeks on end. Thank you.”

Monroe and Kreinik both complained of the use of fireworks in their neighborhoods. Monroe noted law enforcement has been unable to police their use.

Private use of fireworks is illegal in the city of Parkersburg. The ordinance, which received first reading in June, would have allowed them on various holidays, the most common of which is Independence Day.

Four days after Kivlenieks’ death, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed a bill passed by the Ohio Legislature, allowing non-professional to discharge various types of fireworks on certain holidays during the year.

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