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Fireworks may return to city for Fourth of July Celebration

Posted on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 5:53 pm

In this Bowling Green Times file photo from a Fourth of July celebration in 2017, fireworks color the night sky south of Bowling Green.
On Monday, city officials gave their initial approval to a proposal that would allow for the use of fireworks within the city limits during limited hours on the Fourth of July.
For decades, the city has banned the use of fireworks within the city limits.

By Ethan Colbert


Bowling Green residents may soon be able to light fuses on firecrackers, bottle rockets, and other patriotic revelry during this year’s Fourth of July celebrations.

During Monday night’s meeting of the Bowling Green Board of Aldermen, the city leaders gave preliminary approval to a proposal that would allow for fireworks to be discharged within the city limits of Bowling Green from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on
the Fourth of July.

Currently, the city’s ordinances prohibit the sale and the use of fireworks within the city limits.

According to City of Bowling Green Police Chief Don Nacke, discharging fireworks outside of the designated times could result in the homeowner or individuals responsible for the discharge to be ticketed by the city.

During the meeting City Administrator Barb Allison said that a local resident approached city hall staff and asked that the city’s governing body consider modifying the decades-old ban.

Allison, who has long lamented the lack of an organized community wide fireworks display in Bowling Green, said she had no objections to the proposed change.

Ward III Alderman Craig Burnett was also quick to vocalize his support for the proposed change because he said it would allow for families to stay within the community rather than traveling over the holiday.

“When my son was young, I wanted to be able to shoot fireworks off from our driveway,” Burnett said during the meeting. “I wanted him to have that experience. Instead, we had to drive to another town to be able to watch or shoot fireworks.”


Other city officials expressing their support for the proposal were City of Bowling Green Police Chief Don Nacke and City of Bowling Green Fire Chief Adam Mitalovich.

With the general consensus being that fireworks should return to Bowling Green, city leaders discussed rescinding the entire ban.

“We are missing out on a little bit of sales tax money by not allowing any fireworks to be sold in the city,” City of Bowling Green Mayor Don Hunter said. “They are selling them all around the city, we might as well consider letting them sell inside the city.”

Despite agreeing with Hunter’s sentiments on the missed sales tax revenue, the city’s aldermen ultimately agreed that the ban prohibiting selling fireworks within the city limits should remain in place.

Ultimately, city leaders decided to request city attorney Jim Burlison prepare a draft ordinance. The ordinance will be presented and voted upon at the next meeting of the Bowling Green Board of Aldermen.

In other business, the city’s Board of Aldermen also tentatively approved an agreement with Crawford, Murphy and Tilly for engineering services at Bowling Green Municipal Airport. City Administrator Barb Allison said that while no new projects or improvements are currently planned at the city’s airport, the city is required to select an engineering firm every five years to serve as the chief engineers of the airport.

City leaders also signed on in support of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, which is pursing a grant through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Should the city be selected, the funds would be used to install new playground equipment and permanent restroom facilities at the city’s two lakes.

The Board of Aldermen also voted unanimously to waive permit fees associated with the construction of the new Missouri Department of Transportation Highway Maintenance Facility in Bowling Green. According to a previous report, the project carries a price tag of $1.2 million. City of Bowling Green Building Inspector Mel Orf said that waiving the fees would mean $4,000 in lost revenue for the city.

The Bowling Green Board of Aldermen also tentatively approved a sewer abatement for Carroll Hamlett in the amount of $665.23. Also receiving tentative approval for a sewer abatement was Mark Stokes in the amount of $46.65.

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