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Residents Urge Fiscal Court To Take Action On Fireworks

County Approves $22.9 Million Budget

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Robert Moore
Herald Staff

Earlier this month, the Mercer County Fiscal Court announced they were considering taking some action on fireworks, with two magistrates volunteering to work on a possible amendment to the county’s noise and nuisance ordinance. At the fiscal court’s meeting on Tuesday, April 25, local resident William Marshall addressed the magistrates about the issue. Marshall also appeared before the magistrates last year.

On Tuesday, Marshall handed out a letter for each magistrate. He said they are not seeking to infringe anyone’s rights or challenge the legal status of fireworks. He provided magistrates with ordinances other communities in the region, including Lawrenceburg, which require private individuals to cease shooting fireworks—which Marshall defined as aerial high explosives, not bottle rockets or firecrackers—after 11 p.m. on any day other than a national holiday.

For pet owners, especially horse owners, Marshall said “The Fourth of July is a very stressful time.” He said some owners sedate their animals. Marshall asked the magistrates to set a period of a week before and after July 4 that would

Marshall said their stance on the issue is not based on a single incident, but in the proliferation of high explosive fireworks.

“We have heard too many complaints from our equine friends,” Marshall said.

If everyone exercised “good common sense” they wouldn’t have half the laws on the books, Marshall said. He called model ordinances a guideline “for those who don’t have good common sense.”

Magistrates Dennis Holiday and Kevin Hicks volunteered at the last meeting to look at the county’s current ordinance, which predates the state’s legalization of fireworks and has been criticized by local law enforcement as vague. The fiscal court took no other action on the issue Tuesday.

The magistrates gave first reading to a $22.9 million budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year. Judge-Executive Sarah Steele said the budget includes significant increases in several areas, however, she said percentages of what the county is spending are staying the same.

“Cost of living is driving everything up,” Steele said. If approved, the budget will go into effect on July 1. The budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year was $18.8 million.

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