NewsLocal News

Actions

Public hearing on Omaha firework ordinance Tuesday

Posted: 8:31 AM, Jul 23, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-24 13:42:19Z

After complaints about noise, firework injuries and disturbed military veterans and pets, for the second year in a row Mayor Jean Stothert is trying to shake up the city's firework laws, giving residents five days instead of 10, to celebrate the 4th of July. 

"That's a good start but I really would like to see it down to one day," says Jack Urban, Omaha resident. 

Jack Urban says the city never should have allowed 10 days of fireworks and says his house rattles for 10 days straight while his neighbors shoot them off. He says it especially disturbs his dog. 

"He's panting, he's going downstairs, I have to keep him downstairs, I have to take him downstairs and keep him where it's a little more quiet," Urban.

If Omaha goes through with the plan, it would be the most restrictive city in the metro and some say people will just leave town to buy them.

"It's not going to stop someone from going to Council Bluffs or going to Sarpy County and purchasing them," says Fred Conley, North Omaha Foundation.

Many of the stands in Omaha are run by charities, President of the North Omaha Foundation Fred Conley says it would reduce the money coming in.

"It will hurt a lot of non-profit groups that are doing tremendous work in the community and secondly if there is going to be a production, I think it should be more of a compromise initially, probably seven days," says Conley.

Others like Vietnam veteran Joe Snyder is okay with the current firework law but has suffered from PTSD during the holiday in the past. 

"I would go to the basement, close all the curtains and darken the room, turn the air conditioner up because a lot of times like for me, I was combat vet in Vietnam with the Marine Corp. And the heat with the noise kind of compounds it," says Snyder.
 
While the council will soon vote on five days of fireworks, some hope they eventually pass even stricter laws. 

"I think the long-term people are going to still complain and it's going to be abused and they're going to run it past 11 o'clock at night and it just going to go out of hand," Urban said.

A survey about the possible firework changes was put out by the mayor's office and the results show respondents slightly favored the proposed changes. Ultimately the decision is in the hands of the city council.