Hays commissioners indicate fireworks ban will remain

Hays Post

After recent rains, the Hays City Commission discussed lifting the fireworks ban last night at its work session. Currently, fireworks can neither be sold nor set off over the Fourth of July holiday.

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Dan Thyfault and Roy Herman, fireworks vendors, were present at the meeting to express their concerns.

“I think the Lord did his job and now it’s up to you guys,” Thyfault said, referring to recent rain in the city.

Herman spoke of some of the benefits to the city if they we’re to lift the ban.

“I know there would be some good tax revenue and business because of the drought we’ve had over the past couple of years,” he said. “Everybody’s chomping at the bit. Not just myself, but everybody that likes to enjoy Independence Day and celebrate it. It’s such an American manner that they have the freedoms to do so.”

Commissioner Eber Phelps brought up concerns about the enforcement due to the fact that the county has a similar ban in place.

“The county has kept the ban in place and the cities of Ellis and Victoria have done the same thing,” Phelps said. “So when we look at Hays and the county, I think enforcement becomes an issue. I think consistency is what I’m leaning towards.”

Commissioner Shaun Musil said “it would be nice to celebrate something” due to the recent water conservation efforts by the residents.

“We’re constantly asking them to please conserve and they’ve done a great job. I think it would be nice to have something to celebrate,” Musil said.

He also brought up the idea of simply placing a permanent ban on fireworks due to the factors that are being taken into consideration.

“We allowed fireworks three years ago, and I can’t imagine that it was any greener then than it is now,” Musil said. “If we’re not going to have them, we should not have them at all and not discuss this.”

Mayor Henry Schwaller responded later in the meeting by talking about the relationship with the county.

“If they don’t have a fireworks ban, then we can’t do it.” Schwaller said. “If we’re not all in it together, then we suddenly have boundaries that we don’t want.

Commissioner Ron Mellick brought up concerns that he learned of through social media and ensured he was a fan of fireworks.

“This is what I’ve had at my house since we banned them last time,” Mellick said as he pulled out a roll of fireworks. “I do like fireworks and so I am not against them per se. I can still remember what it was like when we used to shoot them off as a kid and even when the ban wasn’t in place.

“Other commissioners have said they don’t want wheat fields catching on fire,” he added. “Well, I don’t want anybody’s house catching on fire.”

Commissioners agreed to revisit the issue at a later work session.

  • Guest

    Hays is Little Russia… Eber Phelps is a joke; that’s why he was tossed out of Topeka. Schwaller as a slum lord ought to be more concerned with his run down rentals catching fire from antique wiring. It’s a shame the way the dictatorship of the commission ruins everyone’s fun. It must suck to live in Ellis county! Glad I don’t!!!

  • bonkers

    no matter. if people want to pop fireworks they will. not enough cops in this town to police it all.

  • Guest

    It’s funny that they keep commenting on just putting a permanent ban on fireworks so they don’t have to revisit the issue every year. They act like its suck a big issue. They visit it once a year. Apperently they must of lost the the idea of what the forth is all about. Why doesn’t this country allow us to show our respect to the veterans of this country on what they have done for us. Using the excuse of fires is bull. I thought that is what u sign up for. “That is your job”. It’s also funny that a small amount of people can make the decision of thousands of others. It’s a disturbing thought of the county and city we live in. So on that note, WHY r they allowing Wild West to pop there’s. Hopefully everyone in this town and county go to the surrounding counties due to the point they allow us to show our respect to our men and woman who served and who r serving.

    • citizen

      I hope you can show your respect to the men and women who serve in other ways than shooting a firecracker. Go up to them and tell them how much you appreciate their service. They would like that very much.

    • guest

      the fourth of july is about INDEPENDENCE, and while you may feel yours is being stifled, it is NOT about fireworks. maybe the ban will allow people to focus on what this holiday is really about. While we may have had rains recently, aquifer levels are still low. imagine the amount of water that would be used if we had to put out a house or grass fire because of fireworks. I do know people that this has happened to within the last several years. we should be grateful that we still have a beautiful display put on by the WWF committee that is safely controlled.

  • American Citizen

    Well, it’s becoming clear that the real intent of the powers that be, it to make a permanent ban on fireworks in the county. If the majority of the citizens are in favor of that, maybe there should be a vote. Maybe even a vote to send these people packing would help. A tradition that has lasted 200 years is under attack. Fireworks are a reminder of the struggle our country went through to win freedom from oppression, and it wasn’t a quiet revolution.

    • Chief59

      Wow, what a true “American Citizen”. These people don’t like fireworks, they need to be forced to leave our town. What a joke. I always find it ironic that the people claiming to be the most patriotic, with their flags waving and “USA!” chants, seem to be the least American people I can think of. It’s always me, me, me with you types, when this country was founded on a principle of “us”.

      Maybe you can show respect to your country by visiting area veterans, or sending care packages to troops overseas, instead of standing around thumping your chest about fireworks.

      • American Citizen

        Well, Chef, It seems that you have lost the meaning of Independence Day. It’s a holiday devoted to remembering houw this country won it’s freedom from the British. It’s not necessarily about our wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, or any of the places we’re trying to conquer. It’s about our conflict that started this country, so quit trying to spin it in some sort of new definition. We celebrate the holiday with firecrackers, and fireworks. Go troll someone else.

        • Chris

          If it’s devoted to remembering how the country won its freedom, then go to a parade, a re-enactment, or go watch a historical documentary. Do something that adds to your knowledge about the history behind it, rather than blowing things up.

          How many people actually light off fireworks because they are ‘paying tribute’ to the history of the country. My guess would be an infinitesimal percentage

          • A_citizen_patriot

            Then why are you on hays post? Go learn something instead of commenting on here.

          • Chris

            I can multi-task well, my dear friend. Currently I am listening to a podcast about transitional dinosaur/bird fossils. At the same time, I am on here and I learn about the intricacies (or lack thereof) of the human mind by reading the comments section. Every once in a while, I’ll stumble upon a user that has a unique perspective, and from that I’ll delve deeper into the issues, as my interest has been piqued. Usually, it’s the users, like you, that have very differing opinions, that keep me on my toes. I thank you for the intellectual exercises you provide. <—That is not sarcasm, by the way. I love discourse. It's much more appealing that the yelling and fist pumping we get from the talking heads on television.

          • A_citizen_patriot

            Wow, I have a very different opinion of you. I fully agree with you on the last sentence.

          • passin_threw

            You mean to tell me you aren’t a little bit patriotic when lighting off the bombs bursting in air?

          • American Citizen

            I choose to honor my country and my ancestors by shooting fireworks on the 4th. of July, Independence Day. How many of your ancestors fought in the revolution, Chris?

      • vietnam vet

        indeed Chief59. i’ve met many of the people you mentioned that fly their flags and being very vocal on how patriotic they are. you know the type. those that haven’t saw battle are the first in line to bitch and complain the loudest.

        • Chief59

          Thank you for your service to our country.

          • passin_threw

            He was talking about you joe, no need to kiss his a$$ now

        • A_citizen_patriot

          I hope you don’t feel that way towards others that fly flags and are patriotic.

        • bum knee mcgee

          I am grateful for and respect those that have, do, and will serve in the military. Some of us didn’t have a choice, we were told that our bodies weren’t good enough to enlist, and it is something i think about every day. I Sincerely hope you don’t view those of us without military experience as people that are self centered and entitled.

  • For ReaL

    I don’t recall the county ever allowing fireworks. As a kid i remember having to go into city limits to do it. Am I missing something or are they just blowing smoke to avoid ownership. Please let me know when it has been legal to shoot fireworks county wide instead of just inside city limits.

    • For REAL

      Also the other cities are citing that Hays hasn’t removed their ban on fireworks. So are we just going to sit around and point fingers at who else is not allowing it.

    • Obama’s fault

      Thanks Obama.

  • guest2

    “Commissioners agreed to revisit the issue at a later work session.”
    So you’re telling me there’s a chance…haha!

  • Politics at Work

    The Hays City Commission is talking out of both sides of its mouth. If you are going to ban fireworks, then BAN THEM FOR EVERYBODY, including WWF. Is the ground that they pop the fireworks sacred ground and won’t catch fire? It’s pure politics at work.

    • Be happy

      What’s your problem? I’m disappointed they banned fireworks too, but my family is always excited to watch the big display. It’s organized, done by professionals, and firetrucks are on hand. It’s not politics at all. Politics would be if they let someone’s family in Hays that is well known shoot them off and not the rest of us. Having the annual Wild West Fest fireworks show is completely different.

  • really?

    The problem I think most people have about the ban is “if it’s ok for one, it should be ok for all. ” doesn’t matter If it’s being done in a controlled environment or not. It’s about control! Most people are responsible and firework fires can usually be put out by homeowners. This year is best year we have had in a long time for shooting fireworks. The power needs to be given back to the people and not the few citizens that sit in a meeting room.

  • moneygrubbers

    “We don’t actually care about the cities tax revenue or the threat of fires, we just want to make money”, said Roy Herman and Dan Tevow.

    • American Citizen

      I don’t believe that is an accurate quote, so don’t put it in quotations. Let everybody know that this is just your opinion on what the people are thinking. And by the way at lease show a little respect by spelling Dan’s name right. It’s Dan Thyfault..

  • it’s just like burning money

    I can’t fathom why people are so upset about not being allowed to spend money on fireworks. On one story, people will type furiously about how financially tight families are, then people get overly upset because they can’t spend their money on small explosives. And if anyone says it’s about being patriotic, you’re full of bunk, because i guarantee most people don’t spend a second of their time learning about the history of our country.