Residents express concern about firework ordinance

FLINT TWP. — A group of Flint Township residents at Monday’s meeting convinced the Board of Trustees to take a harder look at its fireworks ordinance.

The board had planned to vote on the first reading of an amended ordinance that follows the date and time restrictions set forth in the new state law. But residents came forward at the meeting to express concerns about how close fireworks were being set off to their homes and the property and personal damage they can cause.

Nancy Woodcock, who lives on North Dye Road, said she was injured by debris from the fireworks her neighbor set off over the Fourth of July weekend.

“I ended up in emergency,” she said. “I was sitting at our fire pit, and part of a firework fell into my eye. We’re still not sure if my eye will be OK.”

She also provided the board with photos of fireworks debris all over the three cars they had parked in their driveway.

“When we spoke to our neighbor, his response was, ‘Maybe you should put your car in the garage,’” she said.

Nancy Woodcock’s husband, Douglas Woodcock, said they have to pick up debris that lands in their yard because the neighbor shoots off fireworks from a spot that is 150 feet parallel to their house. He said the neighbor has 2 acres behind his house, but he refuses to move away from the houses to shoot off the fireworks.

Harold Steinman said his neighborhood is “like a war zone” during the Fourth of July holiday and said he would prefer the fireworks not be allowed after 10 p.m. He also pointed out the effect the loud explosions can have on veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and on pets.

Trustee Frank Kasle said he felt the ordinance should include restrictions on how and where fireworks are used, not just the hours. Fire Chief Thomas Stadler said fireworks debris had landed on the roof of the Reuben Street fire station and said he would support any restrictions to the use of fireworks.

Township Supervisor Karyn Miller said she would check with the city attorney and Stadler to see what use restrictions could be added to the ordinance and bring it back to the board at a later date.