Residents call for Kokomo fireworks ordinance | Local news

Residents are pushing Kokomo City to limit when fireworks can be launched in the city.

John Roberts, an Indian Heights resident and also a city councilor, said his neighborhood and others in the city had been incessantly harassed by people who set off fireworks last summer.

Roberts described the situation as "artillery shells explode" outside his home that summer.

"You jump every time," he told the council on July 27th. "There's no warning as to when they're coming. It's like these fireworks people are the puppeteers and we are the puppets. They are in control of the neighborhood."

Roberts wasn't the only one to complain to the council about the fireworks on July 27th.

Diana Bond of the 500 block on Somerset Drive said her neighborhood had been "bombarded" by early June with people shooting off fireworks at any time of the day, and because of the fireworks, her two dogs had to take medication to keep them calm . She told the council she hoped it would consider passing a regulation restricting fireworks activity.

"I'm not trying to take the fun away from people," she said. "I love a good fireworks show as much as anyone else."

The surge in fireworks last summer was not just seen in Kokomo and Howard Counties.

While most of the United States was in various stages of lockdown last summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, firing up fireworks became one in cities across the country, including Grand Rapids, Michigan, a few weeks before and after July 4th frequent event. New York City; Boston; Columbus, Ohio and many more.

Indiana is extremely casual when it comes to allowing residents to set off fireworks, allowing the activity between 9am and 11pm every day of the year, with hours extending on the days leading up to July 4th and New Years Day.

However, state law allows municipalities to enact stricter fireworks laws. Other cities like Columbus, Evansville, Jeffersonville, Anderson, Clarksville, and others have done just that.

Kokomo has a noise regulation, but not a regulation that specifically deals with fireworks. Roberts pleaded with the council last week to change that before next summer.

"I think our people here in Kokomo deserve to go home after a day of work and enjoy the peace and quiet of their home without being interrupted by artillery shells," he said. "I don't think it's asking too much."

County President Lynn Rudolph, R District 2, said the council is likely to address the issue in the near future.

"We're at the end of the year … we have one more meeting so we'll probably have to start after the first of the year," he said.

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