St. Mary council opts not to move on Amelia fireworks ordinance

St. Mary Parish Councilman Scott Ramsey reflects on the parish’s fireworks ordinance.

FRANKLIN — The St. Mary Parish Council decided not to move on an ordinance that would have attempted to reduce the days Amelia residents can pop fireworks in the parish at Wednesday’s meeting.

Councilman Scott Ramsey initially introduced the ordinance around the July 4th holiday in order to get opinions from constituents and council members regarding reducing fireworks in the parish once again.

The council voted in 2016 to allow for designated times to pop fireworks outside of municipal areas of St. Mary Parish. However, some local residents have been upset at the noise complaints.

“At 10 o’clock it’s time to go to bed,” one resident said during Wednesday’s public hearing. “I start my day at 2, I don’t want to hear that.”

Councilwoman Gwen Hidalgo also said that she was against fireworks in the parish, and heard from constituents with PTSD or who had animals complain about the noise they cause.

After weeks of discussion, Ramsey said that he came to the position that fireworks should either be allowed or not allowed in the parish.

“I learned that it’s an on/off toggle switch,” he said. “It’s best to either have them or not have them. If you don’t have them some people will still shoot but not as much, and if you have them the parish makes revenue and more people than not like fireworks.”

On top of that, Ramsey said the St. Mary Parish sheriff had said that the department does not have enough deputies to enforce fireworks laws, and also does not want to arrest local residents for the crime.

Instead, Ramsey said the sheriff agreed to send two units to patrol streets around Bayou Vista during the July 4 holiday, where they rode the streets with their lights on.

“They don’t cite or arrest anybody,” Ramsey said. “It’s kind of like the end of Mardi Gras, it lets them know it’s time to go to bed.”

Ramsey ultimately decided not to move on the ordinance, and it died after no motion was made.

“With all of that, I listened to what everyone had to say and I’m not going to move on this ordinance,” he said. “I’m hoping it just dies.”

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