While most of the December 7 Gulfport City Council meeting focused on whether or not the city would arrest a homeless man in Clymer Park, city council spent some time talking about fireworks and computers.
Gulfport council voted to limit the sale and use of fireworks. The ordinance, which council passed unanimously, would set a cutoff time for lighting fireworks on state-designated holidays (this includes New Year’s Eve.) If the ordinance passes on its second reading, this means no more fireworks after 11 p.m. on those holidays.
Last month, Vice Mayor April Thanos asked the council to consider amending Chapter 14 of the city’s code, hoping to apply the city’s noise ordinance to fireworks. Council agreed, and now, on the three state-sanctioned days allowing fireworks, people must stop lighting fireworks by 11 p.m. or face a noise ordinance violation.
Chapter 14 prohibits the sale and use of fireworks in city limits. However, the state now allows fireworks sale and use on New Year’s Eve, Day, and the Fourth of July, and on those days, residents may light fireworks –provided they stop by 11 p.m.
Fireworks remain illegal at all other times.
In fireworks-related news, city council also voted unanimously to spend $25,000 on its own New Year’s Eve display, provided by J&M Displays. The city will close Williams Pier at 7 a.m. on Dec. 30, designate a “no boat or anchoring zone” with at least a 900-foot radius around the Williams Pier 24 hours before the display, and close the Casino boat dock and – if needed – remove or relocate vessels by 6 a.m.
Council also approved a resolution to spend $40,399 to replace old laptops for Gulfport police officers. Officers have these laptops – called mobile dispatch units – in their patrol cars. The county dispatches calls via laptop, and officers use them to access information about suspects or calls.
In a memo to city council, IT and Library Director Dave Mather explained that, due to a worldwide glass shortage, the computers wouldn’t ship to Gulfport until March.