Mason City Fireworks 1

The crowd watches as the Exchange Club puts on their annual July 3 fireworks display at Mohawk Stadium last year in Mason City.

The Osage City Council has approved the first reading of an ordinance that would allow noisy fireworks such as aerial shells be sold in certain areas of town. 

However, shooting those fireworks within city limits without a permit, proof of insurance and a competent operator would still be prohibited.

In 2017 the state legislature passed a bill legalizing the sale and use of consumer fireworks during specified dates and times. 

Cities and counties still had the option to ban use of those fireworks. 

At that time the Osage City Council chose to keep its current ordinance on fireworks, which prohibited both commercial sales and consumer use without a permit.

The new ordinance, which passed its first reading on June 3 and will have its second reading during the June 17 city council meeting, would allow first-class consumer fireworks to be sold within light industrial zoning areas. 

First-class fireworks include aerial shell kits, missile-type rockets, Roman candles and bottle rockets. 

City Attorney Brian McPhail said "things that go boom" are generally classified as first-class fireworks. 

Sellers would need to be licensed.

However, in order to shoot these fireworks within the city limits, organizations or groups of individuals sponsoring the display would need to: 

• Apply for and receive a permit from the city.

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• Have a competent operator shoot the fireworks.

• Provide evidence of insurance in the following amounts: personal injury, $250,000 per person; property damage, $50,000, and total exposure, $1 million. 

The proposed ordinance also includes a clearer definition of second-class consumer fireworks -- such as sparklers, smoke bombs and ground spinners - which can be used without a permit under certain conditions. 

This section of the ordinance also states second-class fireworks can only be used June 1-July 8 and Dec. 10-Jan. 3. 

Use is restricted to the hours of 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., with the following exceptions:

• July 4 and Saturdays and Sundays immediately preceding and following that date, when second-class fireworks can be used between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.

• On Dec. 31 beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 1. 

• Saturdays and Sundays immediately preceding and following Dec. 31 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Individuals could only use second-class fireworks on property owned or leased by that person, or on the property of a person who has consented to their use. 

When asked about enforcement of the ordinance, Police Chief Brian Wright said, "It would have to be complaint-driven." 

He noted the police department has never had a complaint about sparklers. 

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