EVANSTON — A special meeting was called for the Evanston City Council on Tuesday, June 29, to discuss the number of days for the lawful discharge of fireworks. Mayor Kent Williams said he and council members had received a number of email and phone calls from residents expressing concern over fireworks and the extreme dry conditions.
At the June 15 council meeting, officials approved three days, July 2-4, for lawful use of fireworks within city limits but, due to concerns, Williams said he felt it necessary to call a special meeting.
During discussion, councilman Tim Lynch recommended only two days be allowed for citizens to use fireworks before fellow councilman Mikal Welling suggesting only allowing them on Sunday, July 4.
Evanston Fire Marshal Tim Overy addressed the council, saying that due to the very low moisture levels he would recommend only one day be allowed for residents to discharge fireworks, during the hours of 5 p.m. to midnight.
Porter’s Fireworks owner John Porter agreed with Overy but suggested they cut back to the hours of 7 p.m. to midnight.
“As a matter of self-preservation, I hope you don’t ban fireworks entirely,” Porter said, “but I think it is prudent to restrict to just one day due to very dry conditions.”
Evanston Public Works Director Gordon Robinson said he agreed with Porter that 7 p.m. to midnight would be a good recommendation. He stressed that the city was already under water restrictions and if there were a fire from the use of fireworks, water would be a major issue.
Councilman Tib Ottley made a motion to restrict fireworks in the city to one day only, on Sunday, July 4, from 5 p.m. to midnight. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.
Evanston Police Department Lt. Mike Vranish and Overy said they would work together to ensure restrictions are followed.