Residents discuss Wichita fireworks ordinance during District Advisory Board meeting

Local

It’s been a constant battle between residents on fireworks laws in the city of Wichita.

Last Fourth of July, the city had new enforcement laws.

A meeting on Monday night gave people the chance to give their take on the popular holiday activity.

City and fire officials met with residents to talk about what worked and what didn’t this year during the District I Advisory Board meeting.

That meant hearing from citizens on how they felt about the changes.

The difference in the law this year than from previous years is that before you could go to court and fight your citation. 

But, this past Fourth of July holiday, there was a set fine of $250 and 138 tickets were given out, mainly on July 3rd and the 4th.

Wichita Fire Marshal Stuart Bevis led the discussion Monday, in front of about eight to 10 citizens as well as the board. 

It was a cordial discussion. 

Bevis says the department is open to hearing what residents want to see done. 

And, others at the meeting provided a variety of feedback.

“$250 is kind of steep to me you know that’s their rule,” said Janet Radig, a north Wichita resident. “But I think it’s a little steep to do that to people $250 to have fun to enjoy yourself with your family.”

“It’s been sort of hit and miss,” said Bevis. “Where we might get one person who is really angry that we wrote people tickets, another person is really happy that their neighborhood was quieter.”

There were some at the meeting in favor of keeping the ordinance as it was this year.

Bevis says fire losses and injuries were down this year on the Fourth of July, but he can’t say if it is because of the citations.

The fire department will be going to the other district advisory board meetings through November 5th. 

Then, they’ll put together the information they gathered to see where to go from there and decide if they need to present any changes to the City Council. 

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