Fireworks Complaints in Council Bluffs Rise After First Year of New Ordinances

Fireworks Complaints in Council Bluffs Rise After First Year of New Ordinances
Posted at 6:27 PM, Jul 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-05 19:27:23-04

Outside the Hy-Vee on 25th and Broadway, sits one of the first firework stands in Council Bluffs.  Employees said sales went better than expected. But not everyone is in favor of the new ordinances.


Local business owner Brian Cadwallader puts on a big show for his employees and neighbors every year.


“Most of our neighbors get really involved.  We’ve had some complaints.  We do it at 10 o’clock.  It takes about 20-25, 30 minutes. And we get done, and we’re done.  We don’t fire anything off after that.  We want to be respectable to the law,” said Cadwallader.


That law allowed for fireworks discharge in Council Bluffs from July 1st through the 3rd from noon till 10pm, and on the 4th till 11pm.


Lifetime resident Stacy Rooker thinks the ordinances are reasonable, but no one seems to be following them in her neighborhood.


“We have been dealing with fireworks for about two weeks now.  Last week, there were some homes that were lighting fireworks off at 12 and 12:30 at night when people had to work the next day,” said Rooker.


Many on the Council Bluffs Police Department’s Facebook page expressed their opinion, saying there have always been fireworks in Council Bluffs, and enforcement is lacking.


"Even when they were illegal it was tough to enforce the law.  One, somebody has to see and identify the person who was setting them off, and that's not easy to do. And then, it just is an enforcement nightmare when you have thousands of people shooting off fireworks," said Mayor Matt Walsh.


Complaints to the city doubled for the month of June, from an average of 42 in the past three years to 92 this year.  Complaints, so far, in July are slightly down.  The sheriff's office received 53 complaints on the day of July 4th.