NEW ALBANY, Ind. — A new ordinance in New Albany could limit the timeframe for setting off fireworks.
In Indiana, state law allows anyone to set off fireworks throughout the year--even if it is not a holiday, but New Albany city leaders hope to change that to ease residents’ concerns.
“It's a pet peeve of mine and we don't know whether it's gunshots or fireworks,” resident, Julia Wells said. “I was hearing them last night, during the morning, and I was thinking there's something wrong with this picture.”
Councilman Al Knable said they received more phone calls than usual after this year’s Fourth of July.
“I just don't understand why it's taken them so long to look at this because it's been going on for years and it's nothing new,” Wells said.
Knable said the complaints were from three main groups: People trying to sleep before work, pet owners, and veterans who suffer from PTSD.
“I'm a veteran myself,” Knable said. “Their mental health is jeopardized by PTSD, and anything we can do to illuminate that and make life easier as simple as this, I’m all in.”
The proposed ordinance allows fireworks between 5 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on June 29 through July 9.
On the Fourth of July, it will be allowed between 10 a.m. and 12:01 a.m., and through 1 a.m. on New Year's Eve.
If caught breaking the rule it will cost $150 the first time. The second time is $300, and the third strike will cost $500.
“The goal is not to penalize someone who wasn't aware of it, but someone who is blatantly doing this,” Knable said.
If an individual or group wants to set off fireworks outside of the timeframe they can apply for a permit.
The council will take a final vote on the ordinance 7 p.m. Thursday.