City Council to discuss fireworks ordinance

Published 8:33 am Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Public safety is the route city officials are looking to take for the future when it comes to holidays like the Fourth of July.

Elizabethton City Council will meet Thursday evening inside City Hall to address a number of topics, including the issue of fireworks within the city limits.

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According to documents obtained from City Hall this week, an ordinance will be voted on Thursday through a first reading to have a general ban be in place for fireworks within the city, except for licensed professionals.

Citing public safety, the ordinance states that private citizens would be unable to discharge fireworks in the city.

“Although fireworks are a tradition and the banning of the discharge of fireworks would be difficult to enforce, the Elizabethton City Council has determined that it is again appropriate to regulate the possession, discharge, sale and storage of fireworks within the city limits of Elizabethton,” the ordinance read.

Councilman Sam Shipley brought up the discussion during July’s City Council and added he would like to see the current fireworks ordinance rescinded for retail sale and residential discharge of fireworks.

Concerns raised by Shipley included property damage, fires, bodily injury, and individuals with health concerns, including post traumatic stress disorder. Shipley also stated during the meeting that July 5 was the cut off date for retail sales and residential discharge but fireworks were still being shot following the deadline.

The ordinance, which follows in line with other ordinances in place by surrounding cities, includes the elimination of retail sales and residential discharge only. Elizabethton’s fire marshal has the power to permit the use of fireworks for public or private displays when all necessary provisions are met by Tennessee Code Annotated and the National Fire Protection Association.


In other business, City Council will go through the first reading of distributing $2.6 million worth of bond funds to three separate sectors — Joe O’Brien Field, the Elizabethton Police Department and the Elizabethton Golf Course. Rezoning will also be on the docket for property located on Milligan Highway, to meet regulations to be used to create townhomes. Another property located near Elizabethton High School will go in front of the board to be rezoned. The property would be used as a funeral home chapel.