West Carrollton repeals fireworks laws to not be in conflict with new Ohio law

On July 1, the discharge of consumer-grade fireworks in Ohio will be legal on private property except in communities choosing to opt out, according to the Ohio Department of Commerce. FILE

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On July 1, the discharge of consumer-grade fireworks in Ohio will be legal on private property except in communities choosing to opt out, according to the Ohio Department of Commerce. FILE

West Carrollton this week repealed its laws prohibiting the possession, use and sale of fireworks to not be in conflict with the state law going into effect this summer.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed House Bill 172 last year, completely changing the fireworks law for the state. Starting July 1, the law will allow the discharge of consumer-grade fireworks on private property on specific days, including the Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

An ordinance introduced by West Carrollton repealed the city’s laws, allowing it to go along with Ohio’s changes.

“It is City Council’s desire to follow the state law regarding fireworks and since our ordinance banned them, we had to revoke those sections,” Heidi Van Antwerp told this news outlet.

City council voted 4-1 to approve the ordinance during Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting. Council members Rick Dobson and Jill Tomlin were not present.

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West Carrollton’s move runs counter to what cities like Fairborn, Beavercreek and Dayton recently did: enact ordinances choosing to opt out of Ohio’s new law. Germantown and Oakwood are among those considering similar legislation. Riverside has also discussed it.

City Manager Keith Townsend said council decided to follow the new state law this year and re-evaluate it next year.

Amanda Zennie, the sole member of West Carrollton City Council member to vote against the ordinance, said she did so because constituents to whom she spoke told her they don’t want the state’s fireworks law.

“Our houses are so close together, they didn’t want that, that extra 20 days a year and full weekends of fireworks going off,” Zennie told this news outlet Tuesday following the meeting.

I get where (city council is) coming from, but for me, I felt like I needed to listen to what I was being told.”

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Zennie said people likely will misinterpret the state law to mean they can ignite fireworks whenever they want.

“Maybe they’re not aware of the stipulations of the 20 days, then you’re going to have them going off in the neighborhoods all the time,” she said. “I’ve heard (of) people with animals, people with PTSD, neighbors that have damage to their property, the siding, the roofing, their cars getting hit with fireworks. They just don’t want that.”

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