Local governments prepare for fireworks sales

photo/Scott Hurley

When it comes to the sale of consumer fireworks in Iowa, Johnson County isn't quite ready to light the fuse.

On Thursday they plan to vote on a 90-day moratorium on sales in the county.

“The snakes and sparklers and stuff will still be permitted but we're a little concerned about this and we want to kind of take a wait and see attitude towards it and see how it works in other areas before we allow it in Johnson County, Says County Supervisor Mike Carberry.

He says they are worried about the safety risks as well as the impact their use they can have on residents with health conditions.

“Fireworks are not compatible with an ailment like post dramatic stress disorder,” says Carberry.

Corridor resident Evan Young grew up celebrating with fireworks in Wisconsin and he’s hoping he will soon be able to sell them here.

“It's just a really cool way to celebrate the 4th and the independence of our country,” says Young. “It just inspirers wonder and mystery,” he adds.

In Linn County the discussion on what to do with sales is just beginning.

“As of today we would treat this as a normal retail sales operation so we would allow those in a highway commercial or a general commercial zoning district,” says Les Beck, Director of Linn County Planning and Zoning.

Even if sales go forward across the Corridor Young says insurance, permits and getting a business up and running, is still a challenge on such short notice.

“For me this year, I really can’t say if I'll make any money, it's more just getting my foot in the door,” he says.

Cities and counties will have the ability to create tighter restriction on the use of fireworks.

Both Cedar Rapids and Iowa City currently have a total ban on use in city limits.

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