A Grand Forks City Council member is gauging how receptive the public -- or at least his Facebook following -- is to legalizing fireworks on the Fourth of July.
Danny Weigel, a University of North Dakota police officer who represents Grand Forks’ first ward, asked July 4 on Facebook if the city should allow people to light off fireworks between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. on the holiday.
Responses to the informal poll were a roughly even split between “yes” and “no,”but Weigel said he thought more of the people he’d heard from were in favor of legalizing Fourth of July fireworks “within reason.”
“People don’t want huge mortars flying off,” Weigel told the Herald. “But, from what I’ve heard, they wouldn’t be opposed to certain fireworks during a certain time period. I think more people are OK with that than opposed.”
Other respondents suggested a permit process that resembles a block party, and several suggested that a change in policy wouldn’t have much of an effect on the amount of fireworks people light on the holiday.
Weigel said he has no opinion of his own about legalizing fireworks on the Fourth and said he had no current plans to put a resolution that would amend the city ordinance banning their use before the council.
“You hear fireworks all over the city. You drive around you see fireworks,” Weigel said. “It just got me thinking, ‘what if?’”
Grand Forks police said they received 63 fireworks-related calls for service between July 3 and July 5 and had no record of officers writing any citations for them. University of North Dakota police said they had two fireworks-related calls for service on the Fourth itself.