New state fireworks law setting stage for a booming Fourth of July celebration




FLINT TWP. — A vacant lot in front of a closed business on Linden Road will be home to a fireworks tent sale for the next two and a half weeks.

The township board of trustees unanimously approved on Monday an application from E & E investments to hold the sale from June 20 through July 10.

Jeff Threet of Burton, the applicant, will pitch and open-sided tent in front of a former Pennzoil service store at 3085 S. Linden Road. He obtained permission from the property owner.

Clerk Kim Courts said all of Threet’s paperwork was in order.

Trustee George Menoutes asked Threet about placing the tent further north instead of the designated space which is about 121 feet away from Medawar Jewelers and also adjacent to the recreational Genesee Valley Trail.

Threet said he wanted the higher visibility from being close to the entrance to Genesee Valley Center shopping mall. He also said he is located where he can run electric power to the tent which is not available on the north side of the building.

Menoutes also asked about creating traffic jams on busy Linden Road. Threet said there is ample off-street parking along the side and back of the building.

Threet said he is a licensed pyrotechnician who has staged fireworks displays in Bay City and elsewhere.

“It’s always been a passion of mine and hopefully I can make it a business,’’ he said.

Threet did not indicate what kind of fireworks he plans to sell but more vendors are emerging under a new state fireworks law that legalized formerly forbidden ones such as Roman candles, bottle rockets and others that leave the ground.

Earlier in the meeting, the board discussed changes in the fireworks law, effective January 1, that allows use of more powerful fireworks and also negates local noise ordinances for a three day period.

Trustee Frank Kasle posed questions to both the police and fire chief about what plans, if any, they have to handle the upcoming July 4th use of fireworks.

“From what I’ve read some can be fairly dangerous if not used properly,’’ Kasle said. He asked if the fire department would be more vigilant this year about potential problems. He also asked about enforcing the township’s noise ordinance for those who continue to shoot fireworks well past midnight disturbing their neighbors.

Chief John Ringwelski read restrictions directly from the new law that said it prevents municipalities from imposing restrictions on fireworks use the day before, day of and day after a national holiday including Christmas.

In other words, fireworks users have a 72-hour period from July 3 to July 5 to shoot off legal fireworks without intervention.

Ringwelski did point out that legal firework shells must be less than two inches under the new law.

He also stressed the need for fireworks users to exercise extreme caution both for personal safety and because of arid conditions.

“Dry grass will burn if we get hot debris landing on it,’’ he said.

Police Chief George Sippert said he did no anticipate any problems much different than past years. Most people are responsible fireworks users he said. Police problems typically crop up later in the day after alcoholic beverages have been flowing freely.

“Alcohol and fireworks is not a good recipe,” Sippert said. Police officers in the past have always been kept busy by noise complaint calls and could not respond to all of them.

Supervisor Karyn Miller asked if residents should call 9-11 to report people using fireworks larger than two inches.

Sippert said that would be appropriate.


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