Quick action on fireworks law a good move

The Escanaba City Council deserves praise for deciding to take swift action to put changes to the city’s fireworks ordinance in place in a timely manner. Currently, the city of Escanaba allows fireworks to be used four days before, four days after, and on the day of 10 federally-recognized holidays. After a recent vote, that ordinance is being changed to allow fireworks the day before, the day of, and the day after Independence Day and nine other national holidays, in accordance with the minimum state law.

Initially, council decided not to start the process of changing the ordinance for a month. Council member Ralph Blasier wisely brought up the concern that this would not address the fireworks issue for the upcoming Labor Day holiday.

Last Thursday, council unanimously approved the first reading of the amended ordinance that will limit fireworks use to a three-day period. A second reading, public hearing, and adoption of the ordinance change is scheduled for the Aug. 17 regular city council meeting.

This is a good move by the city council. There is no reason to wait — especially when another holiday allowing the use of fireworks is just around the corner.

We are not anti-fireworks. When used safely and responsibly, they enhance the celebration of our national holidays. The day before a holiday, the holiday, and the day after are a reasonable timeframe to allow the use of fireworks. In the past, we have taken the editorial position that allowing fireworks for a nine-day stretch is disruptive and irresponsible. We still stand by that position.

Council’s new ordinance strikes a fair balance. The fact the the city council is not dragging its feet is good to see.