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Albany closer to cracking down on when you can set off fireworks

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 11:19 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The City of Albany is now drafting a new sound ordinance after there were complaints about fireworks disrupting the community.

Officials said the new regulations will be more clear and enforced more strictly.

City Commissioner BJ Fletcher said the commissioners only spoke about the issue for the first time as an entire commission last week, but the draft is nearly complete.

However, the most debated issue is still unresolved. What time should shooting fireworks become a city violation?

“From 7 to 11, whereas some people think 7 is way too early for fireworks and 11 is way too late,” said Fletcher.

The city currently follows state law that says you can set off fireworks until 11:59 p.m., though complaints say people continue past that.

Fletcher said the new ordinance will be tougher on time and enforcement.

“We have an ordinance and it’s not very clear, and two, it’s not being monitored. I think that’s the biggest thing. Once we give the chief of police our wishes that we want this monitored, we want this pursued, I think you’re fixing to see us get more aggressive,” said Fletcher.

The issue is complaint-driven and vulnerable populations in the city feel the effects more than others.

“It may not be a big deal to you, but it may be a big deal to seniors, to kids that have autism. Just respect your neighbor. What’s cool to you could cause anxiety to a lot of people,” said Fletcher.

The commissioner also said pet owners and people who mistake the fireworks for gunshots also make up a large portion of the complaints.

City Attorney Nathan Davis is drafting the ordinance.

The time frame decision will be made by the commission next Tuesday and it will be voted on the following Tuesday.

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