Written by Mark Jaeger
Wednesday, 01 June 2016 18:54
Officials tell wedding planners town has no regulations on fireworks
The Saukville Town Board faced a first-of-its-kind request for a fireworks permit at its last board meeting.
What makes the request so unusual is the town has no such permit.
Town Chairman Don Hamm explained the Bog Golf Course is hosting a wedding reception on Sept. 10, and the marital couple hopes to include a pyrotechnics display as part of the evening’s festivities.
A professional fireworks company has been hired to put on the show, but the company wanted to make sure there would be no objection from the town.
After learning about the request, Supr. Mike Denzien said he researched what controls the town might have on fireworks.
Denzien said the only topic he could find in the zoning code that even marginally related to fireworks dealt with the regulation of highly flammable or explosive materials.
“We would be stretching the intent of the zoning code to include fireworks,” he said. “They are talking about things like dynamite and plastic explosives.”
State statutes generally regulate the sale and display of fireworks and make reference to securing a local fireworks permit if displays are planned.
“People who shoot them off in their back yards probably are breaking state law,” Hamm said.
Denzien said he is satisfied that the town was being kept in the loop with the fireworks plans.
“It looks to be a good faith effort to comply with state law,” he said before making a successful motion to approve the fireworks display request.
The company will need to notify the Newburg Fire Department of its plans at least two days prior to the display.
At the same meeting, town officials also touched on the possible need to create an open burning permit.
The state Department of Natural Resources tightly regulates what landowners can burn, limiting it to brush and yard waste.
In most cases, state regulations have more to do with air quality than public safety, town officials added.
Town Clerk Naomi Bruecker said she has been contacted by people asking if a permit is needed when the burning of a brush pile is planned.
“I’ve been telling people to use their best judgment and have a bucket of water ready,” Bruecker said.
Newburg fire officials have suggested telling town residents to have burn piles no closer than 25 feet to any structure.
Town officials were undecided on what, if anything, would be required on a burn permit application.
“I guess we could write a law saying, ‘Thou shalt have common sense,’” Denzien said.