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Fiscal Court Hears Fireworks Complaints

The Harrodsburg Herald/Robert Moore
Crowds all over Mercer County lined up for fireworks shows like this one at Herrington Lake last week. But some residents are complaining about impromptu fireworks shows long past Independence Day.

Robert Moore
Herald Staff
rmoore@harrodsburgherald.com

Almost everybody loves fireworks on Independence Day. And almost everybody agrees fireworks get annoying when the Fourth of July turns into the Fourteenth of July and the fireworks show no signs of slowing down.

Especially when they care for animals who don’t particularly care for explosions.

Residents William and Celeste Marshall complained about fireworks to the Mercer County Fiscal Court.

“We love Kentucky. We love Mercer County,” said William Marshall, who, with his wife, moved to Kentucky from Maryland. Around 11:30 p.m. this past Saturday, the couple said they were awakened by fireworks just a couple of hundred feet from their home.

“We own horses,” Marshall said. “Fourth of July is fine. We know it’s coming. We can do things to mitigate so the horses don’t lose their mind. But unfortunately, there are other days.”

Marshall said several of his neighbors are elderly while others have infant children. All of them were rocked out of bed by the unannounced bombardment.

“This was more than just a disturbing of the peace,” Marshall said. “It was an assault on the peace.”

The homeowner complained it took half an hour for a deputy to arrive, who said there was nothing the sheriff’s office could do under current county ordinances. However, there is no county ordinance that covers fireworks. There is a noise ordinance, but it’s vague, Sheriff Ernie Kelty said, and it was written before the commonwealth legalized fireworks.

“I find that outstanding,” Marshall said. He said their horses had injured themselves trying to escape during a previous time.

“I’m here to ask you folks to craft an ordinance that limits the time when these fireworks can be set off,” Marshall said. He said he would prefer after 11 p.m., especially around horses.

“Their first thought is flight,” Marshall said.

Magistrate Dennis Holiday, who said he owned dogs, agreed. “You used to have to go out of the state to buy that stuff,” said Holiday, who lives in town. “Now you can buy it here.”

What makes it worse is that there is a ban on open burning in Mercer County. Even after the torrential downpours this past weekend, Chief Ric Maxfield of the Mercer County Fire Prevention District said Mercer County, like most of the commonwealth, is classified as D1, meaning there is a moderate drought in progress. Even though it rained heavily this past weekend, Maxfield said the forecast doesn’t look too promising.

“The highest chance of rain over the next week is 40 percent,” Maxfield said. “There is no sense in taking the ban off and putting it back on in a couple of days.”

While the open burning ban remains in place, Maxfield said the district cannot stop individuals from lighting fireworks.

Mercer Judge-Executive Scott Moseley said the fiscal court would work with county attorney to draft a new ordinance on fireworks.

“We’ll start working on it,” Moseley said.

Find out what happened next in this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald. Click here to subscribe.

2 Comments

  1. Evelyn Edwards on July 14, 2022 at 3:41 pm

    I understand the complaints, but I also am one that enjoys the fireworks.
    If it comes to where fireworks are no longer allowed I for one will not be happy.
    The 4th if July is one of the best memories I have of my father who is no longer on this earth.
    My doing fireworks is my time to celebrate the memories of my Dad.

  2. Connie Burns on July 17, 2022 at 3:48 pm

    I enjoy fireworks as much as any one else but we also have pets that are absolutely terrified of them . The fireworks start way before the fourth and proceeds to extend way after . The houses on our street is very close together and sounds like they are inside the house .Our dogs shake and quivers the whole time then for days after they are still effected . We have cats also and they all run off scared to death . We also have rabbits that are terrified also .I have confronted some of the people about the fireworks I told them they were scaring my animals to death and one of my dogs has a bad heart problem.Well the remark I got was oh I’m sorry while lighting one right in front of me . I was informed they spent over a thousand dollars on fireworks .That’s crazy ….. When you have 3 kids you cannot take care of .. Another said we just spent 2 to 3 hundred dollars on them …. Now besides the noise nuisance is the garbage left behind everywhere .One neighbor has a dog they let him out and he accidentally eat one of the discarded fireworks and got deadly sick . We have a lot of residents that is elderly that gets scared to death by the big booms . Several has animals that has concerns .One worry was the threat of a fire but that was okay for them to be set off . Some people has to get up early and go to work also . If they want to set fireworks off go to an area that is away from animals ,and residents . The litter is horrible afterwards all over the yards on top of houses and vehicles . They just laugh when they see you cleaning it up well not funny to me . The noise ordnance needs to be changed . There is several residents that has a big problem with this issue . Is there anyway we can get help ???

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