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Fire marshal: Fireworks application didn't arrive in timeTell North Platte what you think

The North Platte Optimists considered cancelling the annual July 4 fireworks display after the Nebraska State Fire Marshal issued a license for July 10 or later.

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The state fire marshal told the Bulletin Friday afternoon that the North Platte application didn't arrive in time for a July 4 permit.

Applications must be filed 10 business days before the display, State Fire Marshal Jim Heine said, but North Platte's application was made Wednesday, eight calendar days before the planned display.

"It's business days," he said of the advance deadline. "That's been a state statute since 2010 and it's been our policy for as long as I can remember."

Heine said North Platte is not the only community that applied late.

"There are reasons for the deadline," he said. "There can be issues. At times our staff will go out and verify proper distances, and then there is a process of paperwork that has to be completed."

Heine said more than 400 fireworks display permits are issued each year in Nebraska.

Thelen issued a brief press release Thursday, announcing the new date of Friday, July 12. He told the Bulletin that the Optimists "thought about cancelling but too many people have put too much into it to do that."

Both the North Platte municipal band and a free watermelon feed are part of the celebration.

Thelen said fundraising is nearly complete for the annual show, which costs around $4,000.

Another $800 was donated Thursday, $500 of which came from the New Car Dealers Association of North Platte, Optimist spokeswoman Tammy Bannister said.

Thelen said a raffle will be held for two Husker football season tickets to raise the rest of the money. Tickets will be available from Optimists members.

Regardless of the date, the fireworks festivities will begin at 8 p.m.

The Municipal Band will also perform July 5 at 8 p.m. at Cody Park.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 6/28/2013
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