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City rehashes ordinance amid complaints | News, Sports, Jobs

July 4th is fast approaching, but the first fireworks celebrations are causing some people in Williamsport to complain to city council.

“They seem to start earlier this year”, City Councilor Bonnie Katz, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, said following a discussion with City Police Chief Damon Hagan at a recent committee meeting.

“Chief, we hear a lot of complaints”, Katz said.

“We respond to every call within the scope of city ordinance and state law,” Hagan said. A charge for disorderly conduct can be laid, he said.

“We are taking the appropriate measures”, Hagan said.

City police records indicate that there have been six reported investigations so far this month.

Those recordings may be late to unclassified incidents and could be classified as non-fireworks activities such as noise nuisance, officials said.

Bongs and booms are more powerful forms of fireworks, many of which are filled with more gunpowder and explosives that are allowed under a state law passed two years ago, according to Joseph Gerardi, administrator of the city codes.

The city ordinance requires their discharge for personal use seven days before July 4 and seven days after, he said.

The order says they must be unloaded 150 feet from a structure in the city, he said.

The city ordinance was approved by the council in 2019, after being revised and amended with the help of officials from the city’s fire department.

Many complaints are being recorded by tired residents and there are indications on social media that it can trigger post-traumatic stress disorder in those who have served in the military or in combat, disrupting the sleep patterns of those who must. get up early to work and scary family pets.

State residents can buy what is deemed “General public fireworks” or firecrackers, Roman candles, bottled rockets and similar fireworks that contain a maximum of 50 milligrams of explosive material.

Sparklers, hats and other novelties were okay before permissions were extended in 2017.

Professional grade ” fireworks “ are out of range.

In addition, federal rules prohibit explosives that do not meet safety standards. According to the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, devices such as M-80s, M-100s, shift sticks and cherry bombs are considered illegal by most agencies. law enforcement officials and are prohibited in many states.

Hagan said police were responding to complaints.

Katz urged the city’s information technology coordinator to put the city’s ordinance on the city’s website.

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