Troy Hickman, Mayor of the City of Hays, issued the following statement regarding the banning of sale and use of fireworks over the July 4 holiday. The Wild West Festival fireworks display will still take place at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4.
The statement was issued at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, June 29.
After consultation with City Staff, and my fellow Commissioners, I have determined it is in the best interest of the residents and property owners in Hays to ban the sale and use of fireworks for 2012. Fireworks, which were previously authorized for use on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of July, are no longer allowed to be discharged within the city limits. The City Commission and Staff have received an inordinate amount of contact from the residents of Hays overwhelmingly supporting, encouraging, and even demanding a ban on the sale and use of fireworks. This overwhelming support for a ban on fireworks places the Commission and Staff in a no-win situation. Every year there are fires caused by fireworks within the City limits of Hays. However, I feel that any fire that were to occur this year would not be perceived as the result of recklessness or neglect on behalf of the individual discharging it, but blamed on the excessive heat and dryness. Therefore I feel the only prudent alternative that exists is to ban the sale and use of fireworks. Vendors will be allowed to sell fireworks until the end of the day Friday, June 29th. Anyone in violation of this ban will be charged and prosecuted accordingly. The Wild West Festival firework show will be allowed to continue, but will be undertaken with great precaution. This is not a decision I am happy to make, but feel compelled to make in order to protect the residents and property of Hays.
City of Hays Mayor
Discharge bans also have been put in place in the cities of Ellis and WaKeeney, as well as, Trego County.