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City fired up about fireworks law

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:56 PM

“We’ve really had a lot of issues in the neighborhoods,” Mayor Geri McCaleb said. “It’s a safety issue, and an annoyance issue because houses are so close together.”

Council recently discussed sending a resolution to the state Legislature that would ask for amendments to the current Michigan law that took effect Jan. 1, 2012.

Michigan law states local governments can restrict fireworks use to days before, during and after 10 specified national holidays. There are also time constraints for their use: 8 a.m. to 1 a.m., and 8 a.m. to midnight in more populated counties.

Many local communities follow the regulations allowed by the state, with Grand Haven additionally allowing consumer fireworks to be launched on the second Saturday of the Coast Guard Festival.

Grand Haven officials reported the use of fireworks by citizens in the city was excessive during the July 4 weekend and this past Coast Guard Festival week.

“It started on the Monday or Tuesday of Coast Guard Festival,” McCaleb said. “They were shooting off all over our neighborhood.”

McCaleb found fireworks parts in her yard, and noted that there are no boundaries since sound and debris can travel from one community to another.

The mayor also called the fireworks law another example of an unfunded mandate from the state.

“The state makes the money and we’ve got to pay our people to enforce the rules,” she said. “It’s one more thing we didn’t have to do before that we do now.”

To combat the problem, city officials hope to send a message that more needs to be done.

Read the complete story in today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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