New rules restrict fireworks

If you’ve grown tired of Fourth of July celebrations that last long past the holiday, you are definitely not alone.

Since July 4, local residents have called the police more than 50 times to complain about their neighbors continuing to shoot off fireworks.

And one community is responding to those complaints.

Members of the Greenwood City Council gave unanimous initial approval to restricting the times of the year that fireworks can be set off in the city.

Under the new rules, which still need a second approval by the city council, fireworks could be set off only between June 24 and July 11 and on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.

City council members said they wanted to take action after getting multiple complaints from residents about Independence Day celebrations that have gone on more than two weeks after the holiday. In Greenwood, residents have called the police more than 20 times since July 4 to complain about fireworks.

“I don’t like ordinances like this, but people have expectations, and we have to make some kind of regulation to keep the peace in the neighborhoods,” council member Bruce Armstrong said.

Last year, New Whiteland made a similar change to its rules, banning fireworks except for a few times near the July 4th or New Year’s holidays.

Most other local communities follow or are similar to state rules on fireworks, which allow fireworks during specific hours — often no later than 11 p.m. — throughout the year.

The city had at least four calls to the mayor’s office about fireworks complaints, and all four callers were in favor of the proposed rule changes, council member Mike Campbell said.

Council member Linda Gibson said she had also gotten complaints from residents about fireworks and said she had spoken with Judge Lewis Gregory, who runs the city and veterans courts, who said extended fireworks also can be difficult for former military members.

The rule change also gives more enforcement power to police when they get complaints about fireworks, Greenwood Assistant Police Chief Matt Fillenwarth said.

If someone has been warned and they don’t stop shooting off fireworks, they can be fined under the city’s noise rules.

Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2718.