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Vanderburgh Needs a Fireworks Ban Now | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

Vanderburgh Needs a Fireworks Ban Now

In the midst of a historic drought, where there is at least one field fire every single day in our Tri-State area, I simply do not understand the delaying of a fireworks ban in Vanderburgh County. As a homeowner, I’m thankful I live in the city where we do have a fireworks ban.

The fact that one of 3 commissioners is out of town is not an excuse in the 21st century. The business of government surely has mechanisms such that all 3 do not have to be in town to get anything done. If not, it’s high time we developed them.

Methods by which a decision could be made without an in person meeting of the 3 commissioners:

  • Telephone (ancient technology)
  • Fax machine for signatures on documents (old technology)
  • Emailed documents
  • Skype or other virtual meeting platforms
  • Delivery service. If it needed to have an actual document signed and in place today, then the documents could have been prepped yesterday, signed who knows where, and delivered by way of Federal Express early delivery today.

If there is no way that any decisions can be made in Vanderburgh County without the presence of all 3 commissioners, then we need to vote in a requirement that they must stay within the county limits for the term of their office to ensure the business of the county can continue. (sarcasm intended)

We have farmers struggling to survive the worst drought in 50 years, where thousands of acres of crops are dying. Why would we risk burning subdivisions, farms, and fields while at the same time putting people and animals at risk to let someone light a firecracker or a sparkler?

Now, we have the beginning of a water shortage. Hmmm…let’s see. If a firecracker let off in the county starts a fire that burns 200 acres, it just might strain our limited water resources further.

More efficient uses of that water than fighting fires because the county commissioners haven’t issued a fireworks ban:

  • Factories that employ local people who are taxed and contribute to our area’s tax rolls.
  • Irrigation of farm fields to keep crops from dying.
  • Personal use by families – as in drinking, bathing, and laundry water.
  • Commercial use by restaurants not only in the preparation of food but also in cleaning those commercial facilities so the food is safe to eat.
  • Commercial use by livestock farmers and stables who are working to keep animals alive.

If we can prevent catastrophic damage, and preserve limited water resources, why wouldn’t we?

If a fire happens from a firecracker set off in the county, will the commissioners who chose not to issue a fireworks ban be listed along with those who shot the fireworks in lawsuits? Or will it be our whole county, where we all will pay for their failure to set a ban?

Disclaimer: Eleven years ago, our home and business burned. I know the devastation (personal and economic) that fires cause and simply can make no sense whatsoever of this failure to invoke a ban.

3 Responses to “Vanderburgh Needs a Fireworks Ban Now”

  1. Nancy Griffin June 30, 2012 at 5:51 pm #


    Thanks for expressing your well thought out opinion on this issue. I agree with you wholeheartedly. People in this area of the country just don’t think it could happen here, that is something reserved for those states out west. And that is just not true this year.

    We should take heed, now. I am very thankful that the ban is in effect in the city, as we normally have LOTS of fireworks activity in the week or so before Independence Day. Everyone seems to be complying with the ban within my earshot and truly I appreciate that.

    Your friend,

    Nancy Griffin

  2. maryb July 1, 2012 at 7:07 am #

    I have been thinking more about this and wanted to add a couple of things:
    -Firefighters in Posey County were treated for heat exhaustion yesterday. Fires always put firefighters at risk. But with the heat, and the potential for any fire to quickly get out of control, it is the duty of responsible government leaders to be pro-active. In this case, the fireworks ban is pro-active. It’s also a matter of preventing potential fires that put firefighters in danger.
    -With the high percentage of Indiana communities instituting fireworks bans, choosing not to do so marks Vanderburgh County as a community which cannot discern the obvious risk of fireworks during this drought. Long term, it hurts our image and reputation, which can always impact future economic growth. If professionald from larger areas are considering moving here, would this give pause and make them question moving here? Would a prospective manufacturer second-guess moving a plant into our county because we won’t protect ourselves from potential fires in a drought?

  3. maryb July 2, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    I did hear today that our county commissioners legally can’t do anything unless fire chiefs or the emergency commission declare it an emergency. I sincerely hope when they meet tomorrow they ban them.

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