Scio Township considering stricter fireworks rules after a loud summer
Jeffrey Smith | AnnArbor.com
The township’s board of trustees will discuss a proposed ordinance at its work session Tuesday night that would prohibit the use of consumer fireworks in the township except on specific days surrounding national holidays.
Township Clerk Nancy Hedberg said the ordinance has come about as a result of a significant amount of complaints regarding fireworks in the township over the summer.
“There have been a lot of complaints about fireworks being set off both on days that they’re not supposed to be and after reasonable hours,” she said.
The new ordinance would restrict fireworks use to the day before, the day of, and the day after federal holidays. Federal holidays include traditional “fireworks holidays” in the summer such as July 4, Labor Day and Memorial Day as well as winter holidays such as New Year's Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“I do know that people complained, and that I experienced personally, that around July 4th — and it’s even hard to say around then because it seemed like they went on for weeks — people were routinely setting fireworks off after hours,” Hedberg said.
“One night one woke me up and I thought someone’s home had exploded,” she said. “It was that loud.”
On the allowed days, fireworks use would be prohibited between the hours of 1 a.m. and 8 a.m. under the new ordinance.
Leslie Dickenson, a summer associate with the law firm Foster Swift Collins & Smith noted in a memo that the ordinance only relates to consumer fireworks and excludes “low impact fireworks” such as handheld sparklers.
Violations of the ordinance will be punishable by a civil fine of up to $500 per offense, according to the draft ordinance available in the township meeting agenda.
Hedberg said the ordinance will be discussed at the meeting Tuesday night and likely voted on at the Board of Trustees next scheduled meeting on Sept. 24. The next federal holiday is Columbus day which will occur on Monday, Oct. 14.