(Mike e-mails: "Now that Branstad has signed the fireworks bill into law, will Decorah have any businesses permitted for selling fireworks?"):
Mr. Answer Person says: "An Omaha fireworks company, Bellini Fireworks, is promising on its Facebook page that it will be opening a sales tent in Decorah in the near future.
Decorah City Administrator Chad Bird says company representatives have been talking with him. But Bird also says there's work to be done before fireworks will be sold in Decorah. For instance, the city code currently says, "It is a misdemeanor for any person to sell fireworks at retail. The mayor or chief of the fire department is given authority to move or have removed, at the owner's expense, all stocks of fireworks exposed for sale or held in stock in violation of this chapter." That means city code would have to be changed before fireworks could be sold under the terms of the new state law.
City code also reads, "It is a misdemeanor for any person to discharge or explode firecrackers, rockets, torpedoes, Roman candles, or other fireworks designed and intended for pyrotechnic display within the city limits," so even if the sale of fireworks is authorized, city officials have to decide whether the use of fireworks is authorized.
Bird says the issue will be raised briefly at Monday's city council meeting, but work will need to be done to determine whether city code should be changed and, if it is, how it can also comply with new standards for fireworks being written by the State Fire Marshal's Office."