Waterloo City Council Once Again Tables Banning Fireworks
The grand debate continues within the Waterloo City Council trying to decide whether to ban fireworks within the city limits. Three weeks ago, council members voted 4-3 to table a vote on a possible ban. At that time, city councilman Dave Boesen suggested reaching out to Cedar Falls and Evansdale for a joint plan. During the meeting, Mayor Quentin Hart said he was still waiting on feedback officials in those cities.
The rationale behind Boesen's idea seems to be, if the entire Cedar Valley bans them, the three major 3 towns, then it might be easier for those in favor of fireworks to accept the changes. Evansdale lets people shoot them off during designated days, and Cedar Falls does not allow them at all.
As reported by the WCF Courier, Boesen suggested that local officials work with Waterloo Police Department on how go about enforcement. Also mentioning that "current Waterloo regulations and a potential ban, lack merit without support from police." Which makes sense. After lifting the ban last year, Waterloo Police received 686 calls complaining about fireworks, and only ONE citation was issued.
The Courier article also reported that Boesen said, "an enforcement plan that includes sizable fines for citations would lessen the amount of illegal fireworks. He said the city will need a plan for responding to fireworks complaints regardless of whether a ban passes."
Now, fireworks enthusiasts and for that matter, those who oppose fireworks for any number of reasons, including PTSD, health concerns etc...will just have wait and see what happens. The Waterloo city council seems to be running out of time to make a decision. Fireworks shops will open near the end of May and people will start buying fireworks leading up to the Fourth of July holiday.
BACKGROUND: Fireworks are allowed in the state from June 1 through July 8 (and Dec. 10 through Jan. 3.), individual cities are allowed to make their own rules. In 2019, Waterloo decided to allow fireworks from July 3 through July 5. At that time, they also increased the fine for using fireworks outside of those times from $250 to $375 or more.