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City council hears both sides of fireworks debate

Posted at 7:03 PM, Jul 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 20:03:58-04

"Since late June we have answered more than 12 hundred calls and emails on the hotline alone," said Mayor Jean Stothert.

After hundreds of complaints this Fourth of July, the mayor and Omaha's Police Chief Todd Schmaderer say it's becoming a burden on the city.

"We received 1,246 fireworks complaints taxing our resources all over the city," said Police Chief Todd Schmaderer.

Now the city is considering the following changes.

Shortening the number of days you can shoot off fireworks from ten to 5 and shortening the hours they can be used to noon-11pm. 

With an exception on the day of the Fourth.

They're also considering cutting down the number of days you can buy fireworks.

"The interesting thing is that I can walk into a restaurant in Omaha and be guaranteed clean air

because of the non smoking laws," said Glen Polluck.

"If there's a construction site near my house I can be guaranteed that at a reasonable time that noise will be shut off,  but all that goes out of the window during the Fourth of July," said Glen Polluck.

Those against the possible changes also voiced their concerns.

"An upwards of 100 non profit organizations directly benefit from the revenue sell of fireworks."
Chuck Mulligan's wrestling team benefits from firework sales."

"We are making pretty good money to raise funds for our wrestling team and it's to the point where I don't know how much we are going to benefit from it if the days are shorten," Chuck Mulligan.

Those against fireworks say non profits should find new strategies for fundraising.

"You're doing evil to get good, it's a big compromise there, they really need to sit down and think about what they are doing," said Polluck.

No decision was made, the city council will meet again Tuesday August 7th.