Restrictions on the discharge of fireworks in Davenport and Bettendorf are now complete after both cities approved the third and final consideration of ordinances to limit their use.
Over the summer, staff from Davenport, Bettendorf and Scott County were in consultation with one another over how much they would limit use after complaints overwhelmed local law enforcement and elected officials in June and July.
The three governing bodies looked to implement uniform restrictions and came to a consensus to limit use on July 3 and 4 from 2-11 p.m. and Dec. 31 from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., which was a sigh of relief for aldermen.
"On behalf of all the veterans and pet owners, I'd like to thank the council, mayor and city attorney for getting this through in a timely manner like we promised the citizens," Bettendorf Alderman Frank Baden, at large, said.
Issues with fireworks first began after then-Gov. Terry Branstad signed a bill into law permitting the sale of fireworks in Iowa.
Language in the bill allowed for the use and sale of consumer grade fireworks from June 1-July 8 and Dec. 10-Jan. 3 though local governments were given the ability to modify the use window.
Taking a wait-and-see approach, governments in Scott County experienced the disruptive effects that culminated in the city of Davenport choosing to reinforce its fireworks use ban before the first window closed.
With the new restrictions in place, fines will also increase as a result of repeated offenses.
Under the new fine structure, a fine of $250 on the first offense. Fines will escalate to $400 for the second offense and to the misdemeanor maximum of $625 for three or more offenses.
Law enforcement from both cities will also be more vigilant when it comes to enforcing the ordinance.
In Bettendorf, even if an officer doesn't see the exact person setting off fireworks, the property owner can be charged as a disorderly house.
In Davenport, a similar type of action would be treated as aiding and abetting.
While Davenport, Bettendorf and Scott County have limited the use, the law prevents them from prohibiting sales from June 1-July 8 and Dec. 10-Jan. 3.