Budget Cuts and Fireworks Ordinance Discussed at Fiscal Court

By: Lindsey Yates Email
By: Lindsey Yates Email

WARREN COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) -- Fiscal Court approved the Warren County budget today and the Sheriff's Department is facing more cuts, and if you plan on celebrating Fourth of July with a boom there may be a new set of rules when it comes to fireworks.

"There is a $300,000 decrease in their budget," says Warren County Judge Executive, Mike Buchanon.

Starting January of 2014 the Sheriffs Department is facing another budget reduction, meaning as many as six employees could be cut putting a strain on an already understaffed department.

"It could negatively impact their response time and their ability to patrol as many roads each night because they won't have as many people on the road," says Buchanon.

With Fiscal Court looking at passing a new fireworks ordinance for Warren County the Sheriff's Department could have new laws to enforce.

"We've had complaints already of people setting off fireworks in the middle of the night and very early in the morning. Out of respect for the vast majority of the citizens we felt it was important to put a law in place," says Buchanon.

It includes designated hours, from June 27th until July 4th fireworks can be lit from 10 A.M. until 11 P.M.

On Fourth of July the curfew will be extended until midnight.

Some say that's ending the celebration too early.

"If you want to do it at 5 o'clock in the morning in the middle of November than I think you should be able to do it," says Matt Vanthournout, a Warren Co. Resident.

"Wouldn't hurt just to extend the time a little bit past 11 o'clock."

Others believe it's important to set guidelines.

"I think it's a good idea if you have people setting off fireworks too late then you're going to disturb your neighbors," says Jasmine King, who just moved to Warren Co. from Idaho.

"I think it's great be a good neighbor and do what these officials set out to do and enjoy your fireworks all at the same time," says Amy Burge, SkyLite Fireworks Owner.

It also states you must be 200 feet away from vehicles, homes, and structures when shooting off fireworks, and you must be at least 18 years old to buy, sell, or ignite them.

Violators of the ordinance can receive anywhere from a $50 to $200 fine, depending on the severity of the violation.

A second reading on the ordinance will be next Thursday at 8:00 in the morning.

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