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Local

City to discuss possible fireworks ban in city limits

First consideration to be read at Monday meeting

The Newton City Council will hear a consideration to amend the fireworks code that will ban fireworks from being used within city limits at its Monday meeting.
The Newton City Council will hear a consideration to amend the fireworks code that will ban fireworks from being used within city limits at its Monday meeting.

The Newton City Council may ban the use of fireworks within city limits.

At its meeting Monday night, the council will read the first consideration of an ordinance amending the fireworks code. According to the meeting agenda released Thursday afternoon, the city staff recommends the ban within Newton’s city limits “in order to enhance the safety of residents, reduce incidents of property damage and to mitigate noise issues.”

During a March 2018 town hall meeting, fire chief Jarrod Wellik and police chief Rob Burdess both lobbied for a ban on fireworks, citing public safety concerns. Citizens were split on the issue. While some agreed fireworks should not be permissible within close quarters, others had no problem with the current fireworks ordinance, some even said they would like to see use expand to the weekend before.

According to data provided to the Newton Daily News in July by the Newton Police Department, the number of fireworks calls from June 1 to July 9 decreased from 189 in 2017 to 142 in 2018. Calls on the Fourth of July have also decreased from 43 to 19. No citations were issued in 2017; wheras about seven were given out in 2018.

D&D 2.0

While Robert Farrell was rehabilitating his purchased property at 312 S. 11th Ave. W., a “dangerous situation arose” and the building had to be demolished immediately.

As a result, the owner has asked for a consideration of D&D 2.0 Grant funds to assist with costs of the private demolition. The council is scheduled to adopt a resolution, approving the grant application demolition and site stabilization cost of $16,900, not including acquisition costs.

More demolition

The council will consider adopting a resolution award contract for the demolition of structures at 925 E. Fifth St. N., 6 Bungalow Ct. and 12 Bungalow Ct., which the city had acquired with the intent to raze the properties through the Dangerous and Dilapidated Program.

Staff recommend the council award the contract to Lanpheir Excavating, of Reasnor, for the “low responsive, responsible bid” amount of $37,333.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com

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