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Cairo City Councilmen said Monday night they are receiving complaints from city residents about fireworks being fired within the city limits at night and they want the public to know the laws regulating fireworks.
Under state law, fireworks may be used any day between 10 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. unless a local ordinance restricts the use of fireworks at certain times as part of a general noise ordinance.
However, state law says that on holidays, including Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and New Year’s Eve fireworks can be used regardless of local ordinances until 11:59 p.m. and until 1 a.m. on Jan. 1.
The city council’s attorney, Thomas L. Lehman, said Monday night that the city ordinance prohibits loud noises between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., but the ordinance does not specifically mention fireworks. He suggested that fireworks be added.
“So the police have the authority to make cases except on July 3 and 4 if people are firing off fireworks past 10 p.m.?” Councilman Jerry Cox asked.
“No question about it,” Lehman responded.
Cox said he would hope that people would have some “dignity” and “respect” for others and not use fireworks after 10 p.m. at night.
“We need to restrict fireworks to 10 p.m. except on the holidays cited in state law,” Councilman Cox said.
Cairo city manager Chris Addleton concurred, but noted that the police would have to be able to prove who was using the fireworks after the curfew in order to file charges.
Councilmen Bobby Gwaltney and Demario Byrden said they have received numerous complaints. Byrden said it is almost like Fourth of July on many nights in his section of the city.
“We just ask that people be respectful of their neighbors when using fireworks,” Councilman Cox said.
In other business Monday night, the council:
Heard a report from the city manager that the Georgia Department of Labor would be vacating its Cairo office, which is owned by the city, and that following an inspection Tuesday the state would turn over keys to the facility to the city manager.
Addleton also reported that for approximately $2,000 the city will be purchasing all of the state’s furniture in the facility, which has already been declared surplus.
An appraisal has been ordered and the city’s plan is to put the Fifth Street S.E. building up for sale.