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Local

City to hold fireworks town hall Monday

City officials are asking for the public’s feedback concerning the use of fireworks over the past year.

A town hall meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday in the DMACC Newton Campus Auditorium with mayor Mike Hansen, city council members and representatives from the Newton Police Department and Newton Fire Department on hand to hear residents thoughts, opinions and concerns regarding fireworks.

“The reason for doing this is to give the residents the opportunity to come and share their experiences with the council and share their views after going through a season of fireworks,” Hansen said. “Citizens will have the opportunity to give any suggestions on what they think the council should do or what they would like to see as for as changes to the ordinances.”

The meeting will include a presentation on the current fireworks ordinance, which was passed last May following an expedited process brought on by the late legislation by the State of Iowa legislature. Because of the speed at which that ordinance was passed, Hansen said he would revisit the topic in a town hall format to give residents the chance to voice opinions, whether for or against fireworks.

“Everyone is invited to attend the town hall,” Hansen said. “Whether you are against fireworks, for fireworks, we want feedback from our citizens. Government is always best when we get input from our citizens.”

Presentations will be given by city staff including Newton Police Chief Rob Burdess and Newton Fire Chief Jarrod Wellik on their experiences in the last year, potential changes to the ordinance and legislative updates that are currently moving through the state house. Residents and business owners will then be given the opportunity to provide feedback to elected officials on their policy preferences. Individuals who wish to provide feedback will be asked to introduce themselves, state their address and provide up to three minutes of feedback.

Information gathered from the town hall will be used by the council to decide what, if any, changes it wants to make to the current ordinance, Hansen said. Should the council alter the current ordinance, Hansen said he anticipates the changes would be placed on the agenda no later than May to begin the three reading process.

If a citizen is unable to attend the town hall but has a question or comment they would like to submit, they can call or email a city council member or city hall or drop off the information at city hall.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com

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