City noise ordinance may regulate freedom of fireworks usage

City noise ordinance may regulate freedom of fireworks usage
Updated: Jul. 5, 2018 at 7:16 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It's the season for celebrations and outdoor fun, but a little-known city ordinance could leave behind some consequences.

Not long ago in Georgia, fireworks were a special treat enjoyed only at the occasional professional display. Now free to use throughout the state, Columbus police believe some people may be taking advantage of the new found freedom.

"We heard some around 1 a.m or 2 a.m. I know I heard a few go off," said Megan Boyd, a local mother.

A Columbus mother of two, Boyd says her family enjoyed the many outdoor Fourth of July festivities--- fireworks included, but when the lights went out in their home, the party kept going into the early morning hours at the homes of others.

"It's only one or two times of the year, New Years too, but this one time I wasn't calling anyone. It wasn't a big deal. I just went back to sleep," said Boyd.

While Boyd said she was not bothered by the loud popping and explosions, what she didn't know was the sounds violated a Columbus City Code.

"If I had smaller babies or if I worked in the morning, it might would have affected my opinion a bit differently," said Boyd.

The city noise ordinance allows no exceptions for days following the holiday.

Through July 3 and  July 4, fireworks can only be set off until midnight any other day of the week. The cutoff time is 9 p.m. because of the ordinance.

Violation of this code can result in a fine with varying amounts. Columbus police said while they want you to have your fun, they want you to know the laws too.

Officials said they typically only enforce this ordinance if a complaint is called into the department.

Police are reminding people to be respectful of neighbors.

Also, beginning on July 1, there are new prices for amplified sound permits.

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