Lebanon Committee addressing fireworks issues in city limits

By Angela Simmons

LEBANON – City of Lebanon Alderman Joe Diliberto is working with City Attorney John Long on an ordinance regarding fireworks in the city. There are fireworks stands that set up in town, and several aldermen have questions about why they are allowed to sell items that are deemed illegal per the Illinois Fireworks Regulation Act, 425 ILCS 30/1-30/26. 

Diliberto noted that several items are not included in the ban in section 425 ILCS 30/2, including “snake or glow worm pellets; smoke devices; sparklers; trick noisemakers known as ‘party poppers’, ‘booby traps’, ‘snappers’, ‘trick matches’, ‘cigarette loads’ and ‘auto burglar alarms’; toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns, or other devices in which paper or plastic caps containing twenty-five hundredths grains or less of explosive compound are used.”

The alderman also played a voicemail from Long for the other committee members and attendees. Long said that Lebanon could adopt an ordinance that would grant permits for consumer displays, and added “There’s nothing that we can add or subtract from the state statute that prohibits sales of almost everything. Conventional fireworks are already forbidden.” He further stated the city could ban the sale  of fireworks on public property. 

Consumer displays are those that citizens would put on themselves at their homes. Alderman Cheri Wright, who is not on the Health and Safety committee, attended the meeting as an audience member and said that the ban doesn’t stop residents from setting off fireworks “before, after and during the Fourth of July.” Alderman Rick Gale agreed that is an issue facing the city. 

Treasurer Paul Grob said he could not disclose the amount, but the sales tax generated by the fireworks stand for the time around the summer holiday was nice for the city. “I wish every business had that kind of revenue each month, but it won’t hurt us to lose it.”

Wright also questioned why the Lebanon Police aren’t doing anything regarding the sale of illegal fireworks at the stand, and Diliberto agreed that he wanted to talk to Chief Dave Roth to find out more.

“I just want to have something written up that we can use as something to say that people are in violation of it, but it seems like it’s all covered by the state statute, so we just need to find out about enforcing it more,” he said. 

He will do further research into the statute, ordinances, other municipalities, and speak with Chief Roth before the next Health and Safety Committee meeting.