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As of Nov. 30 the Terrebonne Parish Council has amended the Code of Ordinances to allow for the sale and use of fireworks in Terrebonne Parish. The ordinances now outline specific exemptions for the sale and use of fireworks for personal use as well as for public displays. According to section 8-2 of the ordinance, it is, “No longer unlawful to set off any item of fireworks within Terrebonne Parish, except as specifically provided in this article, it being the intention of this section to prohibit the use of fireworks whatsoever within the City of Houma.”
It is now within the law to set off fireworks in Terrebonne Parish on a handful of parish approved dates: Between dusk on Dec. 31 and 1:00 A.M. on Jan.1, between dusk and 10:00 P.M. on Jan. 1 and between dusk and 10:00 P.M. on July 4. The ordinances also specify that any person under the age of 15 is prohibited from using fireworks without the supervision of, “a parent, guardian, or other responsible party of the age 18 or older.”
The ordinances now specify that any person or group intending to have a public display of fireworks, “…accompanying a political, educational, religious, sporting, charity or similar special event shall require a permit from the Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government and the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office.” Both permits require the respective applicant(s) to provide statutory workers compensation insurance as well as auto and liability insurance. These permit applications must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the scheduled event, and are $250.00 each.
Fireworks are still illegal for use within the city limits of Houma, indoors, in a confined space, from a moving or stationary vehicle, or near combustible or hazardous materials. If found in violation of this ordinances, individuals can be charged with a misdemeanor, as well as serve up to six months in prison and be ordered to pay a $500.00 fine.
Vendors are still prohibited from selling fireworks within the city limits of Houma, but may, “…engage in sales of any kind ten (10) days in advance of any approved day where the discharging of fireworks by the general public is permitted in this article, and sales shall cease on the last day of the permitted days of consumer use…” Vendors must also receive a permit from the parish and the state fire marshal, and they must also obtain a Terrebonne Parish occupational license. Vendors must now require valid photo identification in order to sell fireworks to anyone 18 years old or older. If found in violation of these ordinances, vendors can be charged with a misdemeanor, as well as serve up to six months in prison and be ordered to pay a $500.00 fine. They can also be subject to revocation or suspension of their permits.
By Hugh Plaisance