The Williamston City Council unanimously approved the Fireworks Ordinance on Feb. 25, which states “no person shall, within the city limits, ignite, discharge or use any consumer fireworks.”
The ordinance has an exception for certain days when consumer fireworks are allowed. These days include Dec. 31 until 1 a.m., June 29 to July 4 until 11:45 p.m., and July 5 if that date is a Friday or Saturday until 11:45 a.m.
“I am not a fan of consumer fireworks within the city limits,” said Tammy Gilroy, Williamston’s mayor. “It’s
hazardous if people do not pay attention to fire bans and dry conditions.
“When people start shooting them off the potential to
damage their own properties or adjacent properties is tremendous. While I support commercial fireworks in a very controlled atmosphere, I don’t know if I support consumer fireworks.”
A city council member, however, voted down the fire insurance withholding program resolution.
“If there was a fire in town to a commercial building this would allow the city to basically obtain up to 25 percent of the insurance settlement to make sure that the work that needs to be
done actually gets done,” said Corey Schmidt, city manager and DDA director.
Schmidt said this is a fairly common resolution. There’s a list of communities that participate on the state website and for whatever reason we are not on there.
Daniel Rhines, a city council member, said he had second thoughts about the program.
“I need to know more about the mechanism before I’m comfortable voting on it,” said Rhines. “The vast majority of people are not going to leave a building that they own, if anything they will sell the building to somebody else who will rehabilitate it, even if it’s at a lower value because it is a commodity to them. If we are not doing it with
every fire how do we decide what fire the insurance will be applied on, said Rhines.
Rhines said he does not know how the insurance is going to
work and there are too many questions surrounding the program resolution.
“I think this is a good protection for the city. I see the
issue, but I’d hate to see something happen and us not take action on this,” said Jeffrey Weiss who is also a member of the city council.
There are some good questions regarding this insurance, but I think they are procedure questions, said Weiss.
Moving forward with the motion everyone voted yes on the
insurance except Rhines.
The next city council meeting is scheduled to meet March 11, 2019.