City Council considers changing how fireworks are dealt with in Royal Oak

Royal Oak City Council mulls fireworks ordinance

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – During the coldest, snowiest days of the year in Metro Detroit, one way to cope is to think about the warm summer days around the Fourth of July.

The Royal Oak City Council is doing just that, but members are more concerned with noise than temperatures.

Royal Oak is home to some of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Metro Detroit. It's an area where many people want to live.

With quality of life in mind, officials are looking at changing the way fireworks are dealt with in the city.

Resident Bonnie Burnett said she believes fireworks aren't unneighborly.

"You know, late at night or earlier in the morning," Burnett said. "They would push the envelope on setting firecrackers off."

Plumber Austin Vergis said he likes his neighbors, but around the Fourth of July he enjoys getting fireworks from the pop-up stands.

"It's an adrenaline rush," Vergis said. "The louder the better. Whatever they have that's the largest, that goes the highest and makes the most noises."

During Michigan's lame duck session, the Legislature passed a new law decreasing the time period for fireworks from 30 days to 12 days.

"If it was actually up to the people of Royal Oak, based on the number of phone calls and complaints about fireworks, they'd like us to ban them altogether," Royal Oak City Manager Don Johnson said.

"I think there are more important issues," Vergis said. "There's bigger fish to fry, so fireworks -- I don't know why they're wasting their time on it."

Burnett said she's glad to see the council acting.

"There have been many years where it's been very, very jarring," Burnett said. "There have been people upset, called police. People with pets. They say their animals just go crazy."

A second reading ordinance is expected in two weeks and, at this point, there doesn't appear to be any opposition to prevent the change.

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