San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 15th, 2008
Forbidden fireworks

STAFF REPORT

If July 4 is the worst day of the year for yard dog, New Year’s Eve runs a solid second place. If you’ve been out on enough New Year’s Eves and decided to stay home for the last one, you probably heard a lot of popping from your house as neighbors set off fireworks.

However, it’s illegal to set off fireworks within the city limits in most towns, including Buda. The difference this year was that Buda now has a dedicated unit of the Hays County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), which means the city could do something about enforcement.

Bo Kidd, captain of the HCSO’s Buda unit, said Tuesday night that his department issued one citation for fireworks during the past New Year’s celebration in response to a call. As his deputy went into Whispering Hollow to issue the citation, he also talked to a few other people setting off fireworks and told them to knock it off.

As burn bans have mostly been in effect for the last month, fireworks create a dangerous situation. Kidd said that although Buda issued only one citation, he added that fireworks up and down the corridor from Austin to San Antonio presented substantial problems for law enforcement.

Kidd added, though, that the fairly low incidence of fireworks in Buda could be a sign that citizens are learning about their illegality within the city limits. As Kidd’s ramped up his department around July 4, fireworks were so prevalent, he said, that his staff was over-whelmed.

“I hope everyone is getting the message that you’re not supposed to use fireworks in the city,” Kidd said.

Kidd said it would be helpful if the city includes a notice about fireworks in its welcoming literature to new residents, who might not be familiar with the Buda’s ordinance.

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