As the 4th of July approaches, fireworks can be seen and heard everywhere. They are now legal to use in Omaha but Mayor Jean Stothert would like to see some changes in the city ordinance. She asked the city council to address it last year.
Mayor Stothert says, “It is ten days. I asked them to consider shortening it until five. Right now it is from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. and I asked them to shorten it from noon until 11 p.m. No one responded to me. I was told the city council law committee made a decision they weren’t going to act on it at all.”
This time Mayor Stothert is taking a different approach. She asked the city’s law department to draft an ordinance and will send it to the City Council for their consideration. If they pass it, it will be effective next year.
The number of complaints coming into the mayor’s office and to the City Council has gone up significantly since Omaha legalized the use of fireworks. She appointed a Veterans Advisory Committee and one of their first recommendations was to shorten the time fireworks were allowed within the city limits to help with those suffering from PTSD. Mayor Stothert says she also received the same request from the Nebraska Humane Society. Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer also supports the ordinance change.