ALEXANDRIA – The Alexandria City Council on Monday unanimously approved an ordinance that would limit the dates and times that consumer fireworks can be set off within the city limits.
This is the first time the city has had any type of ordinance limiting consumer fireworks. The new ordinance is modeled after an ordinance in Anderson and limited by state law.
“We all know that some people enjoy fireworks way more than others, so we want to be sensitive to all our citizens,” said Alexandria Mayor Ron Richardson.
According to the new ordinance, consumer fireworks may be used from 5 p.m. until two hours after sunset from June 29 through July 9 and from 10 a.m. to midnight on July 4. In addition, they may be used from 10 a.m. Dec. 31 through 1 a.m. Jan. 1.
Violations will result in a warning for a first offense, a $50 fine for a second offense and a $250 fine for any subsequent offense within a 12-month period.
The law becomes enforceable 30 days after publication.
Consumer fireworks include aerial spinners, roman candles and firecrackers.
Residents may not set off professional-grade fireworks without a license. That and associated penalties are regulated by state law.
Alexandria joins an increasing number of communities limiting the use of consumer fireworks because they scare pets and trigger adverse post-traumatic stress reactions in military veterans.
As the measure was discussed over the past couple of months, Council member Roger Cuneo said he was surprised it didn’t fall under the city’s noise ordinance. However, Richardson said the noise ordinance does not have penalties as strict as those of the new fireworks ordinance.
Even so, the city can’t restrict the type of fireworks beyond what the state allows, Richardson said.
“We can go with what the state does, but we can’t make it any firmer. We can make it less firm,” he said.