West Fargo considers legalizing fireworks in the cityFargo, N.D. (WDAY TV) - July 4th this year could bring a boom louder than ever before to West Fargo. After years of countless complaints, city officials are strongly considering legalizing fireworks in the city limits both on the 4th, and New Year’s Eve.
By: Kay Cooley, WDAY
Fargo, N.D. (WDAY TV) - July 4th this year could bring a boom louder than ever before to West Fargo. After years of countless complaints, city officials are strongly considering legalizing fireworks in the city limits both on the 4th, and New Year’s Eve.
This Fourth of July, you may not need to be far out of town - setting off fireworks inside city limits could soon be legal.
Chris Neisen - Ordinance Supporter: "Big ones or little ones? Because big ones, you shoot them way up into the sky!"
All of the hype and hoopla is months in advance, but comes after a year full of firework reports in West Fargo.
Arland Rasmussen - Fargo Police Chief: “We get a lot of fireworks calls. A lot.”
Fifty-eight to be exact - and that's only over the July 4th holiday. With so many people trying to bend the rules of the game, why not change them entirely?
Arland Rasmussen: “It's probably a case of, if you can't beat them, join them.”
Arnie Ostgaarden - Fargo Resident: “It sounds like they're having trouble enforcing the law they have now, so maybe it's the way to go. I don't know.”
Under the proposed ordinance, firework use would be allowed between 8 AM to midnight on the 4th, and on New Year's Eve from 8 PM to 1 AM the next day.
Toni Vanderark - Ordinance Opponent: “I don't think it's a very good idea.”
Chris Neisen: “I think as long as it's regulated, and done properly, I don't think you should restrict people's rights entirely.”
On the other side of the aisle, talk of threats to society and panic in the streets
Toni Vanderark: “Look at the mobile home parks, big fire hazard. No matter what.”
Arnie Ostgaarden: “There's some neighbors who probably wouldn't appreciate it.”
The ordinance still needs another vote from commissioners to pass, and would also change punishments from a misdemeanor to a citation for those who use fireworks outside of the set windows.
Local people selling fireworks say the ordinance could mean business taking off.
Dino Alexakos – Starr Fireworks Operations Manager: ”I really think it's a pretty good idea for both parties. I really think it could be beneficial for everybody because there are a lot of people out there that will not buy the fireworks and shoot them off if they're illegal in city limits.”
After West Fargo's proposed ordinance, Fargo police are also talking about doing something similar.