Local Wichita groups concerned about impact of fireworks sales permit

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The number of fireworks stands in Wichita might be slashed next year.

This after the city increased its cost to have a tent, from $100 to an additional $1,500 fireworks sales permit.

With fewer tents on the streets, many groups who run the stands fear they will be left out, and won’t get the money they need to do their work.

Companies like Wholesale Fireworks use local organizations and groups to operate its tents around the city.

Those groups get a percentage of the sales.

But, with this new fee, companies like Wholesale, might put up fewer tents next year, and that has some of these local groups a little worried.

Customers continue filing in to pick up their favorite fireworks around Wichita.

At the tent on Central and Hillside, people are greeted by Andrew Steffan.

He and his sister Valerie operate the Wholesale Fireworks tent to raise money for people with disabilities.

Steffan is high functioning autistic, so being able to help at the tent gives him the rare opportunity to socialize.

“This is pretty much the most social interaction I have,” he said.

Fewer wholesale tents next year could mean groups like the Steffans won’t get the opportunity operate a stand.

“We won’t have the funds to be able to provide the equipment or the med machine,” said Valerie. “The kids wouldn’t be able to attend camps or ball club. It’s the little things in life to be able to watch them be happy that makes it worthwhile.”

The Wholesale Fireworks Operations Manager says they will review the numbers this year and see which tents are profitable.

By the way, this fee is part of a city ordinance put in place to help fund fireworks enforcement efforts during the week of Fourth of July.

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