Shelby County Commissioners Throw Water On Fireworks Plans

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - If you want to light the fuse of a Shelby County Commissioner, talk about a proposal that would allow fireworks sales in rural areas of the county. Local 24's Mike Matthews has the story.

In Shelby County, you can't buy fireworks, you can't use fireworks, and that's that. "We have voted several times to oppose selling fireworks in Shelby County," says Commissioner Terry Roland.

Don't get the wrong idea, we are not talking about 13 sticks in the mud. They like fun. "I love fireworks," says Commissioner Heidi Shafer. "I do."

What they don't like are fires in fields or wooded areas because of fireworks. Not to mention that if used the wrong way, it could end the piano playing careers of men and women all through Shelby County.

The proposed law is, people could apply for a license, if they didn't hear from anybody in ten days, the State Fire Marshall could give them a license and the County Commission couldn't do anything about it. According to Roland, "It takes the rules away from local government and gives the Fire Marshall the authority to give somebody a permit. And that's just not fair."

Here's something else they don't like. County Commissioners only have authority in the unincorporated areas of Shelby. Not good says Roland because "They would be selling them in the worst place you could sell them in Shelby County. Out in the woods, Out in the rural areas."

Heidi Shafer says that's what bothers her.  "When you're talking about having them out in the country," she says, "... there's nothing that burns faster than a dry field of corn."

The fireworks proposals are still being debated in Nashville, and the Tennessee Legislature has not had a final vote on the issue.

 

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