Lansing Discussing New Fireworks Ordinance

By: Lindsay Veremis Email
By: Lindsay Veremis Email

The City of Lansing is hoping to put an end to a loud problem. Complaints about fireworks haven't ended with the Fourth of July, they're still coming in and the city is ready to make a move.

A council committee met Thursday to talk about passing a new fireworks ordinance. Grand Rapids and Saginaw have already taken the step, even the legislature may be ready to reconsider.

"They're so loud that they shake your windows," southside Lansing resident Denise Harris said. "They have vibrated so loud that they make my doorbell ring, I think somebody needs to address it."

Harris took her story to city hall and discovered she's not the only one feeling Michigan fireworks have gone too far.

"I probably got, 30, 30 calls, emails, meetings," council member A'Lynne Robinson said, and that was before the 4th.

"I had over 25 calls and emails that came in, myself as one council member," at-large councilor Carol Wood added.

Wood says the complaints aren't about the Fourth of July, but the weeks before and after.

This was the first year Michigan has allowed consumer fireworks that leave the ground and wood says the change has opened a floodgate of trouble.

People are concerned about safety, the proximity to houses, booms at all hours of the night.

"The debris and trash that this has created in the parking lots and neighborhood streets," Robinson added. "The casings are shot and left all over."

Under the new state law, local governments can't regulate the sale of fireworks, but they can regulate their use anytime, except the day before, of and after a national holiday.

Lansing has just begun talks, but could ban fireworks the other 335 days. Council members are also hoping the state will act.

"There is legislation out there and I think they realize themselves that there needs to be some modifications made," Wood said.

"I would like to see people in general just be more considerate and I understand they're (fireworks) a good time, it's okay," Harris said, but not all day, all night, all month long.

Along with the fireworks ordinance, Lansing is looking at increasing enforcement of an existing noise ordinance and possibly boosting fines. Still, the city also says it doesn't want to pull police off public safety duties to patrol fireworks.


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