Dearborn says it’s OK to sell fireworks, but not shoot them

Fireworks may be sold, but not fired, in the City of Dearborn. Monday evening, after swearing in new Board of Aldermen members Louis Buntin and Steven Buckler, the Board tackled its regular agenda. Last month, the Board chose not to allow the sales of fireworks in Dearborn, after allowing sales at Trex Mart in 2013. Mayor Jamie Morey explained that it was expected to be a one-time situation because of the reconstruction of the bridge over Interstate 29 at Camden Point last year. Trex Mart officials said the fireworks tent in Dearborn was more successful and they felt Dearborn was a better location to continue the sales than in Camden Point, plus the City would receive a revenue boost during the Independence Day sales period — a win-win situation. “Since the sales tax failed, perhaps we should allow the fireworks sales to generate some revenue that could be used for the parks,” said Alderman Sheri Kerns. She suggested the City limit the number of fireworks tents so as not to “open the floodgates.” City attorney Dan Fowler said he believed the number would be self-limiting by the population of the area, demand and the stringent state requirements for such a business. He said he would need to research the issue, but that the City could face a legal challenge if it set a number to limit the number of business licenses allowed. “I understand that you don’t want a dozen stands, but I think as Dan said that it would be self-limiting,” Buntin said. Former alderman Bill Edwards, who along with fellow former alderman Donald Swanstone Jr. remained for the entire meeting, said he believed the past ordinance governing fireworks sales in Dearborn limited the stands to two. The Board was generally in favor of allowing continued fireworks sales, save Alderman Bob Bryan, who voted no and who had originally broached the idea of revoking the ordinance allowing sales last year. While the City will allow Trex Mart to continue work toward hosting a fireworks stand again this year, the matter of whether or not residents could make use of the fireworks purchased remained up in the air. “I feel sad for kids who don’t have a chance to have a sparkler in their hands in our small town,” Kerns said. “I know there are ornery ones around who will try to shoot off stuff, but there will always be ornery ones.” She proposed the City allow the discharge of non-aerial, legal fireworks from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 3-4. This prompted as much discussion in the audience as from within the Board. “They’re going to shoot them off no matter what you say, so I don’t know why you’re even talking about it,” said resident Emma Edwards.