A bylaw regulating the use of fireworks in Blind River sparked some concern with council when it was put forward at the council meeting Monday evening.
In reworking the bylaw fire chief and protective services director Ken Raymond said the new bylaw will have slight changes, including days when fireworks can take place. Those days will be Victoria Day, Canada Day and New Year’s Eve.
Councillor HP Roy said he was aware of the previous fireworks bylaw, but wanted to know what specific changes were made to the revised one before council.
“What I’ve done on this one is I got this down to two days instead of three days before and after,” Raymond said of the time before and after when an event is scheduled and fireworks can be set them off. A three-day period will be allowed for the three holidays already indicated in the revised bylaw.
The fire chief said fireworks will be allowed on the three days based on complaints that are often received from residents whose dogs are frightened by the sound of fireworks.
Coun. Jim Dunbar asked whether a resident shooting off fireworks on Carla’s Lane over the lake as part of a birthday celebration could be fined.
“It sounds a little bit restrictive here,” he said.
Raymond said fines can be levied at the fire department’s discretion.
“It is restrictive, we’ve gone by what other municipalities have done,” Raymond responded. “The problem we are working with is the complaints by people who have animals that people have dogs that are very afraid when these fireworks going on.”
He pointed out that the previous bylaw also did not deal with fireworks at birthday celebrations.
Coun. Jennifer Posteraro wanted to know whether people can apply for a special permit to shoot off fireworks at a celebration.
“Under this bylaw, there is no way to apply for an exemption,” Raymond said.
Coun. Dunbar said the revised bylaw should contain a provision for exemptions.
“We should have a permit for this,” he said.
“There’s never been one even in our past bylaw,” Raymond said. “If this is something council wants us to do, we can apply that to this bylaw to come back (to council).”
Coun. Steven Wells recommended the revised bylaw go back to the committee which dealt with it to rework before it comes back to council for approval.
Council agreed unanimously in favour of the deferral.