Augusta commissioner to push for firework ordinance


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Fireworks lit up the sky in Augusta over the Fourth of July weekend. But, some complained the celebration lasted too long. Augusta-Richmond County Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight says she received many complaints about fireworks being set off on July 5 from her constituents.

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“I’m a big advocate for July 4,” Smith McKnight says. “I love fireworks. July 4 is great, but on other days of the week — normal days and the evenings — there’s no reason to be shooting off fireworks. Some of these fireworks sound like gunshots.”

According to Georgia law, fireworks can be set off between 10 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on July 3 and 4 regardless of local ordinances. Smith McKnight says firing them off on July 5 is unacceptable.

“Our noise ordinance ends at 11:30 with any concert. Therefore, we need to be following that. These fireworks don’t need to be going off when people have to get up and go to work. It’s not considerate for people who suffer from PTSD or people who have babies, children and animals in the house.”

McKnight plans to introduce the issue at an upcoming commission meeting.

101 noise complaints were reported in Richmond County between July 3 and 5, but the county was not able to specify how many were related to fireworks. 21 firework complaints were reported in Columbia County.

While some complained, others enjoyed the holiday and its festivities a year after many events were cancelled.

“It’s [fireworks] not a big deal to me,” Chris Larkin says. “I mean, it’s once a year.”

“We weren’t bothered by them,” Louise Sheftall adds. “We were kind of excited that people were having fun. It’s a time to rejoice because we’re taking the mask off.”

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