Traditional shooting of fireworks for Independence Day will enjoyed by Lonoke residents a day earlier this year, after the Lonoke City Council increased the number of days for selling and discharging fireworks at Monday night’s meeting.

In previous years, fireworks were only allowed to be sold and discharged in city limits on July 2-4. Now, with the ordinance change, fireworks may only be sold in city limits between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. from July 1-4. In city limits, fireworks can now be discharged from 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., July 1-July 3 and from 10 a.m. until 12 a.m. on July 4.

Any person who violates the ordinance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon convictions, shall be fined no less than $50 nor more than $100. Each and every violation shall constitute a separate offense. The council approved the ordinance in a unanimous vote.

In other business, district court judge Teresa Smith spoke to the council about changes with the district court and the courts records software. According to Smith, district courts will be absorbed by the state by 2020. She said by 2020, the district court judge will be a state employee, but paid partially by the city.

As a part of the state’s context implantation project, the city of Lonoke has the option to switch to the states Contexte software program free of charge. Smith said she currently pays $800 per month for the software the city currently uses. In addition, she said this program will at some point, be the only software used by courts state wide.

As for the benefits beyond cost, Smith said the program would allow her to track defendants from court to court, where she does not have that option at this time. She said the court clerks will undergo training for the transition. If approved by the council, the city is scheduled to go live by the end of the year, or the first of next year.

By unanimous vote, the council authorize Smith to execute an agreement for the Contexte software

Also during the meeting, the council unanimously approved to:

- Retire K-9 Max

- Authorize the purchase of $5,952.50 from Calibration and Controls Inc. for aerator wiring

- Authorize the city shop addition by Smith Construction for $9,770

- Authorize Danny Elmore to disconnect and move the air conditioning unit at the city shop for $1,000

- Put the purchase of water plant generators out for bid

- Increase the purchase amount for culverts at the new city walking trail by $5,000, due to the increase in product cost

- Appoint Shane Eoff to the Planning and Zoning commission

- Remove 5th Street Apartment from the watch list

- Have five houses destroyed by fire torn down by city employees, if dumpsters are provided by the owner

- Put the property at 202 Adams and 520 Academy on the properties being considered for condemnation list

- To accept the media proposal from Thrive

The next regularly scheduled Council meeting will be at 6 p.m. July 9, at city hall.