BEATRICE – The sale and use of fireworks in Beatrice is expanding. By a 5-2 vote of the city council, fireworks sales will be allowed from June 28th through July 4th….an expansion from the previous allowable time of July 1st to the 4th. Use of fireworks expands to June 28th through July 5th.

Two Councilmen, Ted Fairbanks and Rick Clabaugh voted no on the expansion. City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer says the change adds three days to sales of fireworks around the holiday, plus a late evening cut off for discharging them.

"Within this ordinance we've broken down a couple different time frames in here. June 28th to July 2nd, would be 8 am until 10 pm when you could use fireworks....except if its a Friday or Saturday night, then you could go to midnight that night for use of fireworks. We have July 3rd and 4th, that would be 8 am until midnight proposed, and then on July 5th its 8 am until 10 pm....except if its a Friday or Saturday or the observed holiday...we would allow fireworks to be shot off until midnight that night."

Two councilmen who voted for the change, Joe Billesbach and Mike McLain, expressed some desire to review the changes after a year.
Billesbach said he hasn’t had anyone reach out to him on the issue.

"I just know that talking with a lot of people who are pet owners, that do not like the fireworks blown off the way it is. I'm not in big favor of it, I will vote for it at this time. But, I would appreciate you guys coming back and looking at it following Fourth of July next year...and see if it is worth doing or we want to go back to what we did."

McLain is City Council President and agrees with Billesbach.  "I had quite a few comments made to be about pet owners with the noise, so I'll vote for it but it would be nice to assess it after the year, to see if we had some complaints or problems."

One councilman, Rich Kerr was not at Monday night’s meeting. The suggestion to expand the time fireworks can be sold or used was brought forward by Councilman Tim Fralin, on behalf of sellers or organizations who have more expanded time for the sale and use of fireworks in other communities.