Newspaper Archive of
N. Warren Town and County News
Norwalk, Iowa
December 12, 2019     N. Warren Town and County News
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December 12, 2019

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e!l4879 41978 OFFlCIAL NEWSPAPER FOR {Qwotk migrant? mm: 22., NORWALK COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT Norwalk Warriors Vol. 52 No. 28 Norwalk, Iowa 50211 Mayor’s gotwoik Moment By Tom Phillips Following this year’s Independence Day celebration, I had a lot of residents reach out to me for clarification on Norwalk’s fireworks ordinance. When can fireworks be sold? When can they be set off? How late can you set off fireworks? How did Norwalk set this ordinance? What are the consequences for setting off fireworks outside of those set dates/times? As time passed, I thought more about those conversations and realized that there were likely so many more residents who had the same questions. I wanted to get some information out to residents before the next round of fireworks New Years Eve. Background: In 2017, the Iowa Legislature passed a bill legalizing the sale and lighting of fireworks in Iowa. That initial law allowed the following: The sale of fireworks, out of a permanent structure, from June 1 to July 8 and also from December 10 to January 3. The sale of fireworks, out of a temporary structure, from June 13 to July 8. Fireworks can be set off from 9am to 10pm on June 1 to July 8 and on December 10 to January 3, with a few days having expanded hours. ' Expanded hours will be from 9am to 11pm on July 4, and on the Saturday and Sunday prior to and following July 4. Also, on December 31 from 9am to 12:30am January 1. Also, the Saturday and Sunday before and after December 31, from 9am to 1 1pm. Cities are allowed to further restrict the hours fireworks can be set off. Norwalk originally went with state law, but City Council listened to citizen input and, in October of 2018, reduced the times to 4-10 p.m. on June 29 to July 8. Cities cannot restrict the sale of fireworks. However, through our zoning ordinance, we can somewhat control where fireworks vendors can locate within commercial/retail spaces. Our hands though, are very much tied‘by state law on the sale of fireworks. A Few Observations: All cities in the Des Moines metro area have experienced a lot of illegal fireworks being lit, even in those cities that have an all-out ban on fireworks. This past July Fourth, I drove down to watch the fireworks for Yankee Doodle Pops and there were fireworks going off all over the city of Des Moines, even though they aren’t allowed. In order for a police officer to write a citation for a violation of the ordinance, they have to see the person light the firework. This makes the enforcement of the ordinance difficult, if not impossible. Norwalk is no different. Our officers received an abundance of calls this past Independence Day and were only able to issue warnings, since they did not catch anyone in the act of lighting a firework. We had quite a few residents in Norwalk that didn’t start lighting fireworks until June 29th and were usually finished by around 10:00 p.m. What I don’t want to see us do is hastily create an ordinance that restricts the freedom of many, in an attempt to try to control those who will blatantly continue to ignore the ordinance. In Norwalk, I noticed fireworks started up the same day the temporary locations opened. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to assume if I can buy fireworks in Continued on p. 3 USPS No. 395-120 Warren (2% «EWIALL IL-‘er! 9114:9358:- . r 22:;15:itegcgazggxéifny,‘wry“; Town and County News Phone 981 -O406 Norwalk Kicks Off the Christmas Season at Annual Tree Lighting Celebration A good time was had by all at Norwalk’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Sunday, December lst. Activities for all ages including singing carols and a visit by Santa capped off the evening. Pictured above are families enjoying the hot cocoa arid cookies and crafts, and visiting with Santa. Many thanks to all who attended, and to those who provided goodies and craft items at "the event. Photos provided by the Norwalk Cha'mber of Commerce Teen Gift Making at the Library on December 13th Norwalk Easter Public Library’s Teen Gift Making program is almost here! On Friday, December 13th from 3:45-5:45 p.m., 6th-12th graders can make a variety of small gifts to keep or give away! Please call the library for more information at 515— 98 1 -02 1 7. email: news@ norwalknewspapemom Thursday, December 1 2, 201 9 Letters to Santa Are Due Back December 13th Reminder: there is still time to submit your Letters to Santa to the newspaper. We’ll take your letters until noon on Friday, December 13th! Please see page 4 for more information on how to send them in. Santa on a Fire Truck December 14th Norwalk’s much-anticipated holiday tradition, where Santa travels around Norwalk on a fire truck, will take place Saturday, December 14th, beginning at 7:00 a.m. Make sure you wave at him! Big Band Affair December 14th at St. John’s St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Norwalk, 720 Orchard Hills Dr, is hosting the High Society Big Band playing the songs of Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Les Brown, Tommy Dorsey, and many more big bands. The event will be held on December 14th, and starts at 6:15 p.m. and ends at 9:15 p.m. This is an excellent live 15-piece band you will thoroughly enjoy dancing to or just listening to. Beverages will be available for purchase and light snacks will be provided. Pre-event tickets are for sale by calling 515-981—4855 or stopping in at the parish office, 720 Orchard Hills Drive. Call or stop in for more information on ticket cost. Take time during this very busy time to just sit and enjoy. Looking forward to seeing you there. Christmas Church Services Information Wanted We will be printing local church worship information for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services in our December 19th issue. If you’d like to have your church’s Christmas service information included on the list, please email us the information at news@norwalknewspaper.com (email is the preferred method), drop it off at our office mail slot, or call us at 515-981-0406 and leave the information on a message. The deadline to have your service information to us is noon on Friday, December 13th. We are also happy to publicize other Christmas- related events at your church; feel free to submit those also. 36!th Plan to attend City of Norwalk’s Community Chat Held the 2nd Saturday of each month, 9-10:30 a.m. at City Hall, 705 North Aye. Residents are invited to visit with city representatives about a variety of topics. Next Community Chat is: Saturday, December 14th