Mayor allows Wentzville residents to use fireworks on July 4 wit - KMOV.com

Mayor allows Wentzville residents to use fireworks on July 4 with some restrictions

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WENTZVILLE, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Wentzville residents will be allowed to set off fireworks on Independence Day after Mayor Nick Guccione withdrew his initial veto of a measure that legalizes the use of fireworks.

Residents can legally use fireworks only on July 4 between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

However, there are a few restrictions.

Volunteers went door-to-door handing out flyers to inform residents about the change. According to the flyer, "fireworks cannot be used or possessed" outside of the designated five hour window on July 4.

The language of possession has some residents asking whether they will be breaking the law by buying fireworks before the holiday.

“That doesn't make any sense. How do you have them in your possession to shoot off when it gets dark, [if you can't have them] until 5:00?” asked Wentzville resident Liz Clayton.

Wentzville police said they will be reasonable when it comes to possession.

“We're not going to sit on the city limits and stop people coming in, no it won't be like that," said Police Maj. Paul West. "But if you're on your front yard, there's going to be a problem."

In addition, residents can only use fireworks on private property. Parks, streets, and sidewalks are off limits. Those under the age of 16 must be supervised by an adult.

Maj. West says the compromise reached by the city to allow residents a few hours of fireworks comes with strict enforcement.

“We have a detail assigned to this, we have two men working Sunday through Thursday then Friday and Saturday four guys patrolling the streets looking for fireworks demonstrations,” said West.

Residents are skeptical, saying people didn't follow the law when fireworks were completely banned and don't expect a time frame to do much for all the noise.

“I don't think it makes any difference because people in Wentzville are going to set off fireworks anyway. It's the Fourth of July, so what if you hear them at midnight,” said resident Louise Peterson.

If caught violators could face up to a $100 fine.

“We're serious, don't do this, have respect for you neighbors and follow the law,” said West.

The mayor originally vetoed an ordinance permitting fireworks due to concerns of noise and debris, but changed his mind after hearing from residents who support the use of fireworks.

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