Spearfish amends firework ordinance

March 30, 2018 GMT

SPEARFISH – A licensed operator may soon be able to apply to put on a professional fireworks display in Spearfish.

The Spearfish City Council March 19 approved the second reading of an ordinance amending the section of city code pertaining to the sale or discharge of fireworks. The ordinance previously read, “No person may sell or caused to be sold, discharge or caused to be discharged, any pyrotechnics or fireworks of any description whatsoever within the city.” The amendment adds the sentence, “Exception: the discharge of fireworks as part of a professional display operated by a licensed pyrotechnic operator under the procedure set forth in the International Fire Code, as adopted from time to time.”

The International Fire Code provides definitions and regulations for fireworks displays for public gathers, and the adopted 2015 version of the code provides step-by-step minimum regulations for a professional operator pyrotechnic display before an audience. The regulations are derived from national codes, standards, and industry best practices for the safety of public and property protection, city staff explained.

The item agenda summary states that “In general the operator shall make application for an operations permit, providing details on fireworks to be used, financial responsibility (corporate surety bond and public liability insurance), and qualification of the responsible to include operation, set-up, storage and transfer of fireworks.”

It adds that the issuance of an operational permit would follow the acceptance of a fireworks display plan, inspection of the site, and demonstrations of the display operations plan, complete with the amount, size, aerial height, and layout of the safety and fallout zones. “The plan shall also include established procedures in the event of shell ignition failures, failure of function over fallout zone, weather conditions or fire hazard severity orders and post fireworks clean up and inspection. Any shells, motors of fireworks found during the post inspection shall be properly handled and disposed of by the operator in accordance with the manufacturer as provided by the fireworks supplier and operator,” the item states.

The amendment follows a request earlier this year from Lantis Fireworks, who desires to conducting fireworks displays at three Expedition League games this summer at Black Hills Energy Stadium, one in May, July, and August.

The city in September entered into a lease agreement between the city, Diamond Enterprises, LLC, based in Rapid City, and Expedition League, Inc., a Florida corporation that organizes a wood-bat, collegiate-level baseball league, concerning the use of Black Hills Energy Stadium, located at 350 W. U.S. Highway 14, for league baseball.

The city council in February authorized city staff to investigate whether a fireworks permit could be created, and March 19, they unanimously approved the second reading of the ordinance amendment. Council President Dan Hodgs presided over the meeting in Mayor Dana Boke’s absence.

The amended ordinance was published March 23 and would become effective April 12.

The Spearfish Sasquatch Expedition League team begins its inaugural season in May.