Posted 6/21/16 (Tue)
By Jack Dura
Farmer Staff Writer
A new city ordinance has limited the sales and discharge of fireworks within Watford City, but Independence Day revelers still have plenty of time to enjoy the pretty lights at night.
Adopted Monday, June 6, the Watford City City Council adopted an ordinance restricting the sale and use of fireworks to between June 29 and July 5, annually. During this time frame, fireworks cannot be discharged between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m., except July 3-4, when the ordinance slackens for quiet hours between midnight and 8 a.m.
In addition, no fireworks may be discharged within one block of Main Street.
“Basically the new ordinance took away one extra day of selling and shooting off fireworks or being discharged in the city,” said city auditor Peni Peterson. “It also shortened it up on the front side too and took some early days away.”
Prior to the new ordinance, Peterson said, the time frame stretched to June 27.
Violating the new ordinance is a Class B misdemeanor, she added, enforced by city police with penalties determined upon prosecution.
North Dakota law carries a potential of a one-year jail sentence and $2,000 in fines for a Class B misdemeanor.
The 10 p.m. deadline for the days between June 29 and July 3 can be a bit awkward for the time of year, Peterson said, as the sun sets well after 9:45 p.m.
However, the new ordinance cracks down on those who use fireworks after 10 p.m., around 11 p.m. and midnight. Despite the lighter days, Peterson said it’s a fair ordinance.
“On the Fourth of July, they can go until midnight,” she said.