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Jackson, Cape to ban bottle rockets

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Bottle rockets are about as banned as they can get in Cape Girardeau and Jackson.

All that is left is a formal vote by the Cape Girardeau City Council and the Jackson Board of Aldermen. While Cape Girardeau already had a ban on bottle rockets, which went into effect on Dec. 31, 2000, it has agreed to expand its ban.

At their annual joint council meeting Monday night in Jackson, the boards came to an unofficial agreement that any firework that utilizes "a straight and rigid stick of wood, plastic or other material attached to a propellant tube or driver to stabilize or direct flight" cannot be sold, distributed or fired within either city limits unless they are a part of a public fireworks display.

The officials' argument is that people have less control over stick rockets and that they create more litter.

The boards also agreed to trim fireworks season from two weeks to one.

The only question that remains is about putting age limits on consumers. Some of the councilmen and aldermen said age 17 should be the limit. Cape Girardeau police chief Steve Strong pointed out that many statutes define 17 as an adult. Others argued that the age should be 16 years for the ease of sales clerks, who simply would need to check for a driver's license.

The boards of both towns said a uniform ordinance between the neighboring cities is important so people could not cross the city limits to buy fireworks that were illegal in their own city.

A few councilmen from both cities said they hoped this restriction is a step toward an all-out ban sometime in the future.

Councilmen from both cities also said they heard from more people who thought there should be more restrictions than from those who thought the restrictions should remain the same.

Center Junction lights

Missouri Department of Transportation district engineer Scott Meyer announced Monday night that street lights for Center Junction (Interstate 55 and Highway 61 between Cape Girardeau and Jackson) are on MoDOT's schedule for 2007.

If the cities were interested in getting the project done perhaps two years earlier, Meyer said, MoDOT could loan the cities money to complete the $133,000 project. The cities would have to pay two years worth of interest, but officials from both cities said it might be worth paying interest if it could get the project done in 2005.

Water connection

Officials from both cities expressed an interest in moving a water interconnection up their priority list.

Cape Girardeau city manager Doug Leslie said both cities have 8-inch water mains 4,700 feet apart from each other in the Lampe Road and County Road 313 area.

A connection between the two cities would cost roughly $293,000 and would provide an emergency outlet for each city in case one of the citys' water plants went out.

Leslie said it might be fiscally worth the amount for area residents because it could go toward lowering home insurance rates in both cities.

bmiller@semissourian.com

243-6635


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