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St. Clair Shores Approves Resolution to Repeal Fireworks Bill

St. Clair Shores City Council approved a resolution to repeal the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act which has led to increase demands placed on police and fire, according to city officials.

St. Clair Shores City Council approved a resolution Monday that calls for the repeal of the , which allowed the sale and discharge of of more powerful pyrotechnics.

The resolution urges the Michigan Legislature to repeal the law, which has lead to unintended consequences including increased demands on police and fire personnel along with a "substantial decline in quality-of-life issues" according to the resolution.

"In the past, people would drive to Ohio and Indiana and bring (the fireworks) up and they would a bring them up, and they would have their one night show," Councilman John Caron said. "In the past month of June, it was 'ooh let’s see what this one looks like and blow it up and let's see what that one looks like and blow it up.'"

City Council voted 5-2 to approve the resolution and send it to the governor, Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren, and Rep. Anthony Forlini, R-Harrison Township. The resolution follows a busy holiday weekend for the police department.

According to City Manager Ben Hughes, the police department received 26 fireworks related calls on July 3 and issued nine violations. On July 4, there were 45 calls for service and 14 violations were issued with nine total arrests.

These arrests included two arrests for disorderly conduct, two arrests for possession of narcotics, four arrests for trespassing and one felony complaint that is being reviewed by the prosecutor for an individual who threw a large caliber and legal firework at a neighbor.

The explosion caused a minor injury and potential hearing loss, according to Hughes.

Last year, the police reported 26 calls for service.

Resident Chuck Hall spoke against the law and in favor of the resolution.

"It not only strips local power from municipalities, it strips the peace and quiet from St. Clair Shores," he said.

Councilman Peter Rubino was joined by Councilwoman Candice Rusie in an unsuccessful attempted to table the resolution. Their intention was to see the law amended rather than repealed.

"I want the ability for our city to govern ourselves and regulate the fireworks ourselves," Rubino said.

Hughes said police are still responding to resident complaints about fireworks under the current .

"We are now outside of the state prescribed three day window (July 3-5) but we still have residents who are choosing to light off fireworks," he said. "Our police department is still responding." 

DJG July 18, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Sorry, Mr. Rubino...but the issue is for every call the police get, there are probably 10 calls not made because the citizens have to be able to identify where/who is lighting them off. Firework sound travels, period. Do you want the citizens to have the police go on a wild goose chase? I'm over whatever revenue the fireworks sales bring to the state. People are not going to obey the ordinance, plain and simple. The state is not going to change or amend it, and if they do..it'll be too late. For over a month before, and still now...fireworks are heard. When you make it as easy as driving less than 2 miles...you can't police it effectively. MANY bad apples ruined it for the bunch, and it's too bad people are so inconsiderate of their neighbors. If the city ordinance could stick, 3 days per holiday, I don't think you'd hear much complaining. But it's clear it won't. And I doubt the "newness" of the bill will change next year. The state, if they don't repeal the law need to amend the times the fireworks can be sold to the 3 days they can be lit off. That would be a start.
DJG July 19, 2012 at 09:38 AM
I just saw on the news that the state is thinking about amending the bill to allow local cities to opt out of the new law. Perfect. They also said they would like to get rid of the "tents" that are put up to sell them, and they claimed the fireworks sale brought millions of dollars into Michigan. I don't doubt that, my question is where did the millions go and what were they used for?

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