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The original item was published from 8/7/2015 2:01:41 PM to 8/9/2016 12:00:05 AM.

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Posted on: August 7, 2015

[ARCHIVED] City Council introduces ordinance to ban sale and use of sky lanterns and passes resolution

The Sterling Heights City Council introduced an ordinance Tuesday night to ban the sale and use of sky lanterns within city limits. The Council also passed a resolution Tuesday to support House Bills 4725 and 4726 that would, if enacted by the Michigan Legislature and the Governor, repeal the Fireworks Safety Act and ban the sale and use of consumer fireworks.

If the ordinance banning sky lanterns is adopted, Sterling Heights will join a number of Michigan municipalities that have banned these open-burning devices on grounds of fire safety. The National Association of State Fire Marshals has determined that there is a serious fire and safety hazard associated with sky lanterns, which includes the potential to start unintended fires. The Sterling Heights Fire Chief and Fire Marshal strongly recommend adoption of the proposed local ordinance.

In a further effort to promote fireworks safety, City Council took a stand Tuesday to support Rep. Henry Yanez’s bills to repeal the Fireworks Safety Act. The Fireworks Safety Act, which took effect in 2012, authorizes the retail sale of “consumer fireworks” and prohibits municipalities from regulating such sales as well as the use of these fireworks for 30 days out of the year. According to the resolution passed Tuesday, the Act has “a profound negative impact on the quality of life for many residents of the City of Sterling Heights, whose neighborhoods have again this year endured additional fireworks-related noise, litter and disturbance of the peace.”

“For three summers, our city has been unable to provide any respite for residents constantly enduring the noise and disturbance of fireworks in their neighborhood,” said Mayor Michael C. Taylor. “We are looking to find ways to exert more local control over the use of consumer fireworks in Sterling Heights. It’s ultimately about the safety and well-being of our residents.”
According to the resolution, the Act “wholly failed to consider its impact on local police, fire, and community relations resources, each of which was impacted substantially by the volume of calls and complaints relating to the sales and use of consumer fireworks.”

The only exception to the bills brought by Yanez is for fireworks displays that are authorized as part of a permitting process by each individual municipality as a function of local control.
As part of the resolution, The City of Sterling Heights also urges all concerned citizens to participate in the online petition for the repeal of the Fireworks Safety Act, found at: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/repeal-the-michigan-firework.

Media with questions can contact Community Relations Director Bridget Doyle at (586) 446-2471 or email bdoyle@sterling-heights.net.

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