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Editorial: Number of days to discharge fireworks should be reduced

Sharing the living space of a community the size of Jamestown takes cooperation when it comes to things like fireworks. If the current rules must be changed, we advocate reducing the allowable period to discharge fireworks from nine to five days.

Jamestown has one of the most liberal fireworks ordinances among major communities in the state. Fireworks can be sold and discharged during the nine-day period allowed by state law until midnight each night except the Fourth of July when fireworks are allowed until 1 a.m. on July 5.

Of the communities Jamestown’s size and larger, two allow personal fireworks only on the Fourth of July, one allows fireworks July 2-4, and five ban the activity completely. Valley City and Wahpeton have similar regulations to Jamestown.

For some in Jamestown, nine days is an extended time to enjoy the sounds and sights of fireworks. For others, it is a period of dread and nights of disturbed sleep interrupted by the crack and bang of other people’s fun.

Reducing the period for fireworks sales and use to five days is a compromise that gives fireworks lovers time to enjoy them, businesses time to make sales worth their while, and people who don’t like them some relief. July 1 through July 5 would seem logical.

 This would still leave Jamestown as one of the most fireworks-friendly communities in the state but nearly cut in half the amount of time people who don’t enjoy the sounds of fireworks would have to endure them.

The topic is expected to be discussed Tuesday at the Jamestown Finance and Legal Committee. A spirit of cooperation by both sides of the issue could allow Jamestown to enjoy the Fourth of July in a festive manner without going to the extreme of banning fireworks as so many communities have.

(Editorials are the opinion of Jamestown Sun management and the newspaper’s editorial board)