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City Prohibits Use of Sky Lanterns
By Catherine Stortz Ripley
January 13, 2016

Sky lanterns, small hot air balloons often used during celebrations of life and July 4th festivities, are now banned from the city of Chillicothe. City council members, during their regular meeting Monday evening at City Hall, passed an ordinance prohibiting the sale or use of aerial luminaries, commonly known as sky lanterns. Sky lanterns are made of paper with an opening at the bottom where a small fire is suspended. The lanterns remain airborne by the use of heated air. Fire Chief Darrell Wright said that the fire department has received several requests for sky lanterns to be used as part of memorial observances; however, up until Monday night's passage, the city had no control over the use of sky lanterns because they didn't fall into the definition of fireworks. While the city has an ordinance prohibiting the use of many types of fireworks (including bottle rockets and Roman candles), sky lanterns are not considered a firework because it does not detonate.

County Burn Ban Lifted
September 26. 2012 11:49AM

Chillicothe's storm overnight Monday produced 0.36 inch of rain. Although not measuring as much precipitation as other communities in the area, it was enough to prompt authorities to lift the county-wide burn ban. The burn ban was put in place on September 19. The previous burn ban, which had lasted two months, was lifted Sept. 1.

Burn Ban Re enacted
September 20. 2012

Chillicothe Fire Chief Darrell Wright instigated a burn ban across the entirety of Livingston County on Wednesday, September 19. Citizens are asked to refrain from outdoor burning until the ban is lifted at an unspecified later date.

Rain Brings Relief, Dissolves Burn Ban
September 04. 2012

Livingston County's burn ban, that had been in place since before the Fourth of July and had prompted the cancellation of Chillicothe's Freedom Festival on Independence Day, was finally lifted on Saturday thanks to remnants of Hurricane Isaac. The official rain gauge measurement, as reported by the local weather station, showed nearly 4.5 inches of rain, with most falling on Friday and Saturday. Other areas of Livingston County reported receiving in excess of five inches.

The rain came slow and steady on ground that had not seen much precipitation all summer. This past weekend produced more rainfall than the last 120 days combined.

Removal of the burn ban also opened the door to allow the discharging of fireworks within the Chillicothe city limits. Although fireworks may have been scarce to find since the burn ban was in place over July Fourth and most fireworks stands closed early, some individuals in the city as well as the county did manage to discharge what they had. Because the burn ban was in place over the July Fourth holiday, the Chillicothe City Council passed an ordinance permitting fireworks to be discharged this year on Labor Day.

Chillicothe police reported no significant problems with fireworks over the weekend, except for a small fire, believed to have been the result of fireworks, that broke out in a yard Sunday.

Rains continue to be in the forecast for the coming days. On Thursday, showers and thunderstorms are likely, with lows in the lower 60s. On Friday, there is a 50 percent chance of rain.

Fireworks Only if Burn Ban Lifted
August 27, 2012

Chillicothe City Council members took formal action regarding the discharging of fireworks on Labor Day; however, the possibility that the countywide burn ban will be lifted in time is doubtful. If the ban is lifted, the discharging of fireworks would be allowed between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 3. Council members, in their regular meeting Monday evening, voted 4-1 approving the fireworks ordinance. Councilman David Moore voted against the measure. Fire Chief Darrell Wright stated that it was unlikely that the burn ban would be lifted anytime soon.

Fireworks Ordinance Approved - May Not Help For Labor Day
August 13, 2012

Chillicothe's Fireworks ordinance is approved. The Chillicothe Fire Chief presented the new ordinance that replaces one he told the council was outdated. The new ordinance includes the storage, sale, use and discharging of fireworks within the city limits. Sections include the requiring of permits for the sale of fireworks, the time frame for the use of fireworks by the public, Public Fireworks Displays by organizations. The new ordinance also provides for penalties for violations. City Administrator Ike Holland says there are provisions for when fireworks can not be used at the Fourth of July. The new ordinance does not automatically mean we can use fireworks on Labor Day this year. The city will continue to monitor moisture conditions, but Fire Chief Darrel Wright says right now it is still TOO DRY to lift the burn ban, and it will take considerable rain to change that.

City Council Continues Labor Day Fireworks Talks
08 01 12 CT

Fireworks were once again brought up before the Chillicothe City Council at Monday night's regular meeting and whether or not to allow them for Labor Day. Fire Chief Darrell Wright spoke on behalf of the Chillicothe Fire Department who presented some changes to the current fireworks ordinance.

One suggestion that was made was to make a provision this year only to allow fireworks to be shot off over the Labor Day holiday since fireworks were not allowed during the Fourth due to a burn ban. Wright stated that he was still pessimistic about fireworks for this coming Labor Day because conditions in Chillicothe and surrounding areas were still too dry. He also stated that the weather outlook did not look promising for better (i.e. wetter) conditions.

He asked the council to take time and look over the changes that were made, and said that he would present an ordinance at the next council meeting for the council to vote on. The ordinance would include fireworks for Labor Day, contingent on the weather.

By state law, fireworks can only be sold from June 20 through July 10. Therefore, even if fireworks are allowed for the Labor Day holiday, fireworks will not be allowed to be sold at that time. Wright stated that by state law, only those who have a permanent, year-round fireworks retail store, which also requires a year-long permit (of which none in Chillicothe have), would be allowed to sell fireworks beyond the Fourth of July.

The updated ordinance was also written so that it reads more like the state version, making an easier transition between the two. Also in the new fireworks ordinance, Wright requested that the Chillicothe Fire Department be allowed to inspect and shut down stands that are not in compliance with the given regulations. Currently, the fire department acts on behalf of the state fire marshal, whom they report back to. The ordinance would give power directly to the city department.

Other concerns by the council included what might happen in the future once the water park and hospital are in place. The council agreed that the issue would just have to be revisited at that time as far as shooting fireworks from Simpson Park goes.

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