Greeting the arrival of 2015 promises to be quieter in Cayce.
New restrictions on personal fireworks use – except sparklers – are in place after City Council banned discharge except during specified periods on the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve.
Use is limited to 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on the Fourth of July and 10 a.m. Dec. 31 to 1 a.m. Jan 1, with violators facing a fine of $100 under controls approved last week.
The limits were adopted in response to complaints from homeowners about too much noise created by late-night celebrations disrupting sleep, City Manager Rebecca Vance said in a report recommending the restrictions.
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Cayce joins Batesburg-Leesville, Chapin, Irmo and Springdale as communities in Lexington County with restrictions on personal use of fireworks, although standards vary in each.
It’s rare for anyone to be fined for violations, officials say. Warnings normally are adequate, police say. “You tell them to stop and they do,” Batesburg-Leesville Police Chief Wallace Oswald said.
Others communities such as Lexington and West Columbia rely on noise controls to handle what officials say are sporadic problems.
Exuberant use of fireworks is “kind of expected” around holidays but problems stop if police warn that it’s too loud, Lexington Town Administrator Britt Poole said.
Officers in West Columbia allow “what’s reasonable” after sunset before cracking down, police Capt. Scott Morrison said.
There are no restrictions in unincorporated areas, about 85 percent of the 720-square-mile county, according to Lexington County sheriff’s spokesman Maj. John Allard.
Likewise, there are none in unincorporated areas of adjoining Richland County, according to sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Curtis Wilson.
Problems in rural areas of Lexington County are rare since there is plenty of room to explode fireworks without upsetting neighbors, County Councilman Bobby Keisler said.