City Council to vote on Wichita fireworks ordinance

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The City of Wichita has restrictions to Fourth of July fireworks celebrations that are more strict than state rules.

Wichita Fire Chief Tammy Snow says that Wichita is isolated from the rest of the state with more restrictive rules. Inside city limits, people are not permitted to shoot fireworks that emit spark higher than state feet into the air; state rules don’t have that exception.

“Being totally on an island, totally separated from everyone around us,” Mayor Jeff Longwell said, expressing some sentiment towards changing the ordinance.

His expressed his thoughts to have Wichita follow the same rules as the state of Kansas. “ align ourselves to the surrounding area and the state of Kansas,” he said, which would change the current city ordinance on fireworks.

The fireworks ordinance was discussed at the City of Wichita’s workshop.

Some of the members of city council spoke out against the idea of changing the ordinance.

“If we get rid of our restrictions on fireworks, it is going to make it worse in Wichita,” Councilman James Clendenin said.

“I would be doing a huge disservice to the hundreds of people who have written to me over the past eight years about our existing fireworks ordinance, let alone expanding it to allow everything,” said Vice-Mayor Janet Miller.

The City Council was expected to discuss a new ordinance on December 19.

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