Traverse City Record-Eagle

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June 30, 2013

No fireworks curfew for the 4th of July

TRAVERSE CITY — A new law that will allow cities and townships to institute a 1 a.m. curfew on fireworks had too short a fuse to launch during the upcoming July 4 holiday.

Gov. Rick Snyder on June 19 signed a law to let municipalities adopt fireworks curfews, but public notice requirements in cities and townships demand between two weeks and 30-plus days to amend an ordinance. Officials in Traverse City and surrounding areas now hope to have the curfew in place for Labor Day.

“I think all of the northern townships are going to jump on this (curfew),” said Chuck Korn, supervisor in Grand Traverse County’s Garfield Township. “It’s obvious we need something. The bang-bangs at night are driving people crazy.”

Traverse City was among Michigan’s first communities to adopt a local ban prior to the Fourth of July celebration in 2012, that decision coming shortly after state lawmakers ended a long-time ban on exploding and propelled fireworks.

The townships of Peninsula, Long Lake, Garfield, East Bay, Acme, and Blair all followed suit during the fall and winter. Such ordinances ban the use of consumer grade fireworks year-round, except for the day before, the day of, or the day after a national holiday, which are exempt under state law.

The bans haven’t had much impact on business compared to 2012, said Brandi Petras, a supervisor at Pro Fireworks in Acme.

“We’re doing pretty good already,” Petras said.

The state previously banned powerful consumer grade fireworks such as bottle rockets, aerial cakes, Roman candles, and firecrackers. All now can be sold legally, and fireworks merchants’ subsequent windfall quickly led to an explosion of complaints from area residents.

“The worst is when you get the guys coming out of the bar at 2 a.m. and shooting them off,” said Rob Manigold, Peninsula Township supervisor. “Being on the water it really carries and it seems like they are going off all the time.”

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