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Emmetsburg Public Health and Safety Ordinance

August 22, 2017
by Anna Veltri , Emmetsburg News

In order to maintain the welfare of the citizens of Emmetsburg, past City Councils have worked to establish an ordinance addressing public health and safety. Chapter 41 of the Emmetsburg Code of Ordinances addresses many topics from dangerous substances to firearms and fireworks.

In Emmetsburg it is unlawful for any person to distribute a sample of any drug or medicine, any corrosive, caustic poisonous, or other injurious substance unless the item is delivered to a competent adult or takes precautions to prevent contact with children or animals. It is also illegal to be in possession of any type of drug paraphernalia which is defined as "all equipment, products, or materials of any kind used or attempted to be used in combination with a controlled substance, except those items used in combination with the lawful use of a controlled substance." It is illegal for a person to manufacture or sell/distribute any drug paraphernalia. A person is violating the law if they "knowingly or intentionally and primarily do any of the following:"

Manufacture a controlled substance

Inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance

Test the strength, effectiveness or purity of a controlled substance.

Enhance the effect of a controlled substance.

It is important to note that a hypodermic needle or syringe does not fall under drug paraphernalia if it is manufactured, sold, and used for lawful purposes.

As one would expect, it is an offense should person report false information to the fire department or a law enforcement agency or other public safety entity if they know the information to be fabricated. It is illegal to call 911 knowing that there is no emergency to report. One should also not provide incorrect or false information to a law enforcement officer.

The Emmetsburg City Ordinance also states that a person MUST assist any magistrate or police officer that requests their help in making an arrest or to help to prevent any act of criminal activity. No person shall refuse to help when assistance is requested. On the flip side, no one shall prohibit or impede on an officer or employee from performing his duty including an emergency medical care provider or firefighter.

According to chapter 41.06, a person shall not abandon or otherwise leave any refrigerator, icebox, or similar contained unattended especially ones with doors that may be locked from the outside. These types of refrigerators pose a threat to children that can get locked inside and unable to get out. These objects shall not be placed outside of buildings on either public or private property.

A person shall not discharge a rifle, shotgun, revolver, pistol, gun, or any other firearm in the City of Emmetsburg. The City Council must provide written consent for a person to be able to use any of the above items. The ordinance also states "no person shall intentionally discharge a firearm in a reckless manner."

In Emmetsburg, it is unlawful for a person "to throw stones, bricks or missiles of any kind or to shoot arrows, paintballs, rubber guns, slingshots, air rifles, BB guns, or other dangerous instruments or toys o or into any street, alley, highway, sidewalk, public way, public ground, or public building without written consent of the Council."

In terms of public health, a person shall not urinate or defecate in any public space or onto any private or public building or land.

Finally, Chapter 41 of the Emmetsburg Code of Ordinances addresses the use of fireworks. This year, Former Governor Branstad signed into effect a law that legalized the sale of fireworks throughout the state of Iowa. According to this law a city must allow fireworks to be sold as long as it is from a certified seller. With that being said, it is illegal for a person to discharge fireworks within city limits. The ordinance defines "fireworks" to include "any explosive composition, or combination or explosive substances, or articles prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration or detonation, and specifically includes blank cartridges, firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, roman candles, or other fireworks of like construction and any fireworks containing any explosive or flammable compound, or other device containing any explosive substance."



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