PC commission updates fireworks sales records

LARNED — After a morning of departmental budget discussions, Pawnee County commissioners were ready to talk fireworks Monday.

In discussions with Pawnee County Attorney Douglas McNett, who prepared the draft resolution, the commissioners revamped their restrictions on fireworks sales in unincorporated areas of the county.

The change in regulations allows sale transactions outside of city limits with a sale request granted and a $350 fee paid to the Pawnee County Clerk.

McNett told commissioners that the previous settlement required an application to be made to the county emergency manager, which presents an accessibility challenge for those seeking approval. “We need someone who is more accessible to the public,” McNett said.

McNett said he wrote the county ordinance in accordance with City of Larned bylaws. “We want to be as consistent as possible,” he said.

McNett also said he believed the $350 application fee would be a reasonable fee. With respect to compliance issues, the fire marshal would conduct inspections.

Prospective sales organizations will need to submit a viable county address for approval.

Larned Assembly of God pastor Ryan Webster said the revised county ordinance allows his church to sell from its Eighth Street location, which will facilitate an easier operation. The church building is outside the town limits of Larned.

“We’ve been selling fireworks in this county for about 10 years,” he said. “We just stayed within state and city compliance.

“We’ve been in a tent every year,” he said. “We have to provide security, which is not so bad. But the worst are the storms.

“It seems like every two years there’s a night with a storm and we load all our inventory into the semi. It’s a lot of work,” he said.

“To be able to sell our youth church, we can lock the doors for security and leave every night without having to worry.”

The ordinance replaces the current resolution enacted in 2018. Resolution #20222-R-008 in its entirety, regulating the sale and discharge of fireworks in the county, will be available at the Pawnee County Clerk’s Office and published online at a later date.

Aurora J. William