MASON CITY, Iowa - There could soon be big changes to where you can buy and how police enforce fireworks in Mason City.
The Mason City City Council unanimously approved changes to where temporary and permanent structures can sell firework. This would mean no more firework tents off Highway 122 or at the downtown Fareway location.
Permanent structures would have to be in commercial areas known as multi-use districts. According to city documents, this would mean the building will likely need a sprinkler system, more exits; this would mean getting up to code would be expensive and would limit the number of pop-up firework sales in permanent buildings.
Tent sales would be limited to industrial zoned areas.
Those with the city said despite having a record number of sales tents this summer and reports of low sales numbers, these changes are needed.
“The reality is that we feel that those can be regulated in a better manner if we put them into the districts that are in the ordinance and be better handled,” said Mason City City Administrator Aaron Burnett.
Burnett also said they will be bringing up another ordinance as soon as the next council meeting which would give law enforcement a better chance to enforce those shooting fireworks off illegally. He said the change would make it a municipal office and give police more jurisdiction. Mason City Police Chief Jeff Brinkley said the fine for firing off fireworks illegally would be a couple hundred dollars.