Complaints prompt Onaway commission to consider new fireworks ruling

  by Peter Jakey–Managing Editor
There was some discussion at Monday’s Onaway City Commission meeting to adopt an ordinance to restrict the use of fireworks.
It’s the time of year when complaints get aired the most. Since the state lifted the fireworks ban, more and more people are setting them off. Most have done so responsibly, while a smaller percentage of folks have not.
There have not been any major incidents in the city; however, the commission would like something in place for some control.
“A few buildings burned down as a result of an extremely dry Fourth,” said city manager Joe Hefele. “Thankfully, not here or in Rogers (City).”
“It is a shame that we have to have anything, because a little common sense goes a long way,” said commissioner Bernie Schmeltzer.
“They were shooting them off in the middle of Summit Street,” said commissioner Jessie Horrocks.
Hefele included a page from the Rogers City code of ordinances dealing with consumer fireworks.

“I would recommend that Onaway adopt something similar, which follows state law,” stated Hefele in his manager’s report to the board. “The only thing I don’t see in this ordinance is language prohibiting fireworks from being shot off from city properties or rights-of-way.” It is prohibited in Rogers City.
In 2012, Michigan law changed to allow more types of fireworks to be legally sold and used, but Hefele looks at the situation municipalties face with almost disbelief.