With spring turning to summer, Groveport officials are updating ordinances related to parades and firework displays to provide clearer guidelines to residents.

With spring turning to summer, Groveport officials are updating ordinances related to parades and firework displays to provide clearer guidelines to residents.

At the May 11 Groveport City Council meeting, Law Director Kevin Shannon introduced an amendment to the city fire code related to individual and organized firework displays that clarifies guidelines related to distances from people and structures.

Council members voted unanimously to approve the amendment on an emergency basis, waiving the standard three readings so the change took effect immediately.

According to Shannon, section 1519.06 of the city fire code referenced a November 1990 National Fire Protection Association guideline for safe distances between the public and the fireworks firing structure.

That guidance, he said, is now out-of-sync with Ohio laws.

"This update is necessary because the current code enforced by our police department for people wanting to fire off fireworks is in conflict with the State Fire Code in regard to distances," Shannon said.

"(Madison Township Fire Chief Robert Bates) caught this discrepancy when he was reviewing the code, so the easiest thing is to take our reference out altogether, which means the State Fire Code becomes the guideline."

Beside changes to guidelines for fireworks, city Administrator Marsha Hall informed council of changes to the city's parade rules, specifically those related to distributing candy or other items from parade floats.

"After some discussion and concern over the tossing out of candy, etc., from floats we looked through a lot of other local communities' rules, and they allow the distribution of candy but have specific guidelines we didn't," Hall said.

"Specifically, they don't allow candy to be thrown from floats, so we put together a series of parade rules as part of the application, and we've said that to distribute candy you'll have to have it handed out by walkers next to floats."

According to Hall, her staff reviewed rules from Violet Township, Reynoldsburg, Asheville, Canal Winchester, Bexley, Lancaster and Upper Arlington; all except Bexley allow distribution by walkers, but not from vehicles or floats.

Hall said having walkers hand out items instead of throwing them is safer.

The new rule states, "Candy, souvenirs, or any other items may not be thrown due to the danger of children running into the street or viewers being struck in the eye. All items to be given away must be handed to the crowd by walkers near the curb off to the side of the vehicle or float."