The Fenton City Council voted to approve an amended fireworks ordinance at its regular Monday, June 24 meeting. The vote was taken after a second reading and public hearing. The first reading took place Monday, June 10.
Only one person spoke during public comment. He identified himself as a veteran suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). He asked the city to consider a “fireworks free” zone for vets such as himself. He said fireworks send those suffering from PTSD into trauma.
Fire Chief Bob Cairnduff explained at the June 10 meeting that the state of Michigan updated the rules within the Fireworks Safety Act. “I am recommending that we amend our local ordinance to reflect these changes,” he said.
Some of the changes to the Act are the days that consumer grade fireworks can be used, increased penalties, billing of storage fees for confiscated fireworks, and when the city can regulate fireworks usage based on emergency conditions like burning bans, Cairnduff said.
The most significant changes are the reduced number of holidays and the times in which consumer fireworks can be used. The state removed from the list Christmas, Martin Luther King Day, Washington’s birthday, Columbus Day, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving.
The times when consumer fireworks can be used also was specified in the Act. The new times are from 11 a.m. to 11:45 p.m., exception is New Year’s Eve when they may be used until 1 a.m.
According to Cairnduff’s new calendar, fireworks will be allowed May 25 and 26 (Memorial Day), June 29 and 30, and July 1 through 5 (Fourth of July), Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 (Labor Day) and Dec. 31 (New Year’s Eve).
In addition to confiscating the fireworks, those convicted violating the amended ordinance could face a fine not to exceed $1,000.
The amended ordinance will go into effect 30 days after publication and will therefore not be in effect for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday.