Look across the city skyline on the Fourth of July, and you’re likely to see brilliant bursts of color from fireworks lighting up the night.
You can hear the loud boom of exploding shells, the pop-pop of firecrackers and the whistling of fountains and roman candles.
Although to fireworks vendors, this is the sound of money being made, to some community members, the sound may be more of a nuisance — especially if they have to wake up early for work the next day.
At its meeting Tuesday night, the Newton City Commission discussed changing the times the sale and discharge of fireworks is allowed and tried to find a middle ground that would help both fireworks vendors and community members advocating for more restrictions.
This year, firework sales will be allowed from Friday, June 29 — a day earlier than last year — through Wednesday, July 4. Discharge of fireworks will be allowed until midnight, but sales must end at 10 p.m., two hours earlier than last year.
The commission hoped the earlier sales deadline would prevent people from buying fireworks at midnight and continuing to discharge them throughout the night.
“Maybe it’s a compromise,” Vice Mayor Racquel Thiesen said.
Commissioner Jim Nickel agreed the earlier deadline was a good idea.
“If you buy them at midnight and you aren’t supposed to set them off after midnight, what are you going to do?” he said.


Other business

Commissioners also heard a report the city had received a “Stop Violence Against Women” grant, which will provide funding for the Domestic Violence Response Team. The grant will help continue the response team, which unexpectedly lost funding last year.  Fire/EMS Chief Gary Denny announced the Newton Fire/EMS Station No. 3 had received an “award of excellence” in the Associated General Contractors of Kansas State Building Awards.