OSCEOLA, Iowa -- The mayor of Osceola said he and the city council wanted to follow the "Iowa code" for at least the first year, but it was even more appealing because part of the sales from a particular fireworks company will help the city get closer to building a rec center they have wanted to build for over 30 years.
“I've been mayor for two years. So I’ve been working on it for a little over two years now, but this has been a dream in Osceola for many people for over 30 years. There's another nonprofit called Arts and Rec Council; they’ve been working really hard on it. Parks and recreation have drawn up many different plans and things like that. It was just never the pivotal moment or the right time until now,” Mayor Thomas Kedley said.
Iowa Fireworks Company will be opening up shop in Osceola with staff from the Arts and Rec Council.
Clarke County was ranked 98 out of 99 counties in 2016 for overall health and wellness and the mayor says a rec center is a pivotal part of improving wellness.
“I think the city itself is just really excited about it. The city council members have been trying to do this rec center since before even the mayor was a part of it. So that's important it's important to try and give back to the community and work with them as closely as possible. We want people to be safe on 4th of July. We all want to be safe when we are operating fireworks and to be able to work with the city like this that's been so welcoming has been just a wonderful experience,” Iowa Fireworks Company Director of Communications Ali Boettcher said.
The trailer with the fireworks is already there on location where the tent will be across from the Mexican restaurant on McLane Street in the parking lot where the Farm and Home store used to be.
“We're gonna try it out to see how it goes, as long as people are being responsible. That's my main concern, that's our law-enforcement, fire department, our city council's concern. As long as they're using them responsibly, celebrating the 4th of July, respecting noise ordinances, maybe not lighting them off after 10 p.m. I don't see an issue with it as of right now,” Kedley said.
About five percent of sales from the Osceola tent will go towards the fund for the rec center.
“We're trying to raise $1 million but you’ve got to take a baby steps approach to that. So I kind of chunked it out. So if we raise $250,000 by July 31 I will run across the state of Iowa in 15 days from the Minnesota border to the Missouri border, 225 miles,” Kedley said
Boettcher said Iowa Fireworks company will be training each tent operator to know exactly what each firework does to make sure the buyer knows how to be safe while using fireworks.