State legislators recently approved giving local municipalities the power to forbid discharging fireworks late at night on certain holidays, as well as the day before and day after.
The Township Board approved a measure last week that disallows fireworks between 1 and 8 a.m. on those days. Novelty items, such as sparklers, are allowed at any time.
“There have been calls and concerns about late-night fireworks usage,” Township Manager Gordon Gallagher said. “The previous statute did not take that into account. It was legal for people to shoot off fireworks at 3 in the morning.”
Last year, the state made sweeping changes to its fireworks legislation, allowing fireworks to be shot off on and around 10 holidays: Presidents Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Arbor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the day before and day after each holiday.
The township also allows fireworks on the first Saturday in August to coincide with Coast Guard Festival.
Gallagher said he thinks the new time restrictions are reasonable.
The law will be enforced by the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department.
Violators will be subject to a civil infraction, according to township attorney Ron Bultje.
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