The public will be allowed to shoot off fireworks in Lake Saint Louis for a few hours on July 3 and 4 thanks to changes in regulations adopted by the city’s Board of Aldermen; however, that change also includes some tight restrictions.
Allowing fireworks stands that sell them in the city remains a no-no.
The city’s Board of Aldermen approved a bill at its Aug. 6 meeting by a 5-1 vote that revises the rules for shooting off fireworks in the city. The general public now will be allowed to shoot off fireworks between noon and 10:30 p.m. on July 3 and on July 4 starting next year. The bill also includes rules for the kinds of fireworks that can be shot off, where they cannot be shot off and who can shoot them.
Fireworks with a stick or fin are prohibited. Fireworks also cannot be shot off on city streets or in cul-de-sacs or parks during July 3 and 4. Minors, age 17 and younger, are not allowed to possess, discharge or store fireworks unless adults are present and supervising the activity; and then, only during the designated hours on July 3 and 4. Parents who don’t exercise control can be issued a summons by police.
Violations could result in fines up to $500 depending on the circumstances and number of violations. The new regulations stem from Police Chief Chris DiGiuseppi’s review of the city’s fireworks regulations.
Several aldermen were skeptical even though the bill was approved. Alderman Karen Vennard [Ward 2], who cast the lone no vote, said she was not unpatriotic but, as a former emergency medical technician, she had seen burns, loss of limbs and other physical injuries stemming from fireworks.
In 2018, the city had about 20 calls from residents complaining about fireworks use on July 4, up from 18 calls last year, DiGiuseppi said. City police say they had 52 calls during a 10-day period that included the weekend after July 4.
Alderman John Pellerito [Ward 3] said he voted for the ordinance amendment to see how the brief fireworks allowance works out in the community. Next year, the board can see how the limited fireworks period goes and if there is an overall reduction in fireworks use for the July 4 period. Then, it can decide whether to continue to allow a designated period for shooting off fireworks, he said.
DiGiuseppi said the situation may only get better if the state limits the sale of fireworks statewide. In allowing brief periods when fireworks can be shot off, Lake Saint Louis joins the cities of Wentzville and Cottleville.