The city of Hoquiam is looking at a ban on fireworks or limiting them to certain areas of the city. Mayor Jasmine Dickhoff suggested the agenda item at their last meeting to review the city’s current fireworks regulations and possibly suggest more. “So this would look at potentially limiting it to certain areas, banning it all together, getting feedback from the community.”
Councilman Richard Pennant said he’s been against fireworks as long as he’s been on the council, “I went for a walk on the Fourth of July, originally I was just walking to the store, but it was quite interesting to listen to dogs howling mournfully inside houses. It’s animal abuse is what it is.”
Currently, the city doesn’t regulate the location, but only allows the discharge of non-professional fireworks on July 3rd, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., then on the 4th from 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. midnight. Mayor Dickhoff noted that cities like Ocean Shores and Westport restrict fireworks to certain areas to protect their dunes.
Councilwoman Logan Livingston suggested liability issues if the city were to designate zones for fireworks discharge. The city’s attorney Steve Johnson said it was possible, and that he’d have to do more research.
Mayor Dickhoff said the important part is to have the conversation, “Every year it happens; the Fourth of July comes, people want to see some kind of action taken and then it fizzles away faster than a firecracker, and then we don’t hear about it again for another year.”
Any new ordinance more restrictive than the state’s laws will have to wait for a full year, so a new rule wouldn’t be in place until July 4th, 2019 if adopted before next July.