BUTTE — The Butte Council of Commissioners made a controversial decision recently to pursue an ordinance that would reduce the number of days that fireworks could be sold over the Fourth of July holiday.
Under current law, fireworks can be sold from June 24th to July 5th and from Dec. 29th to Dec. 31st. Under the new proposal, fireworks sales would be limited from June 27th to July 4th.
“That’s a pretty long period for 12 days for people to have to deal with the noise. We’ve had lots of complaints with the late-night, which on the 3rd and the 4th you’ve got to expect that, but people are up in the middle of the night because of fireworks they get a little irritated,” said 12th District Commissioner Dan Callahan.
This issue first came before the council over the summer when a person who recently moved to Butte complained about the fireworks. There have been many other complaints from residents about people discharging fireworks into the early morning hours and even some causing fires.
“As people light then off to 2 or 3 in the morning, then they go to bed and nobody knows if a hot spark started a fire somewhere, so by the time somebody realizes it’s a fire, it’s a full-fledged fire,” said Callahan.
One long-time fireworks stand owner has been fighting against this proposal.
“It’s hard enough to make a living here in Butte and now they’re taking four days of the time that we get to make a living,” said Ginny Mullaney, co-owner of Jerry’s Fireworks in Butte.
While many people find fireworks a nuisance, supporters say it’s a big tradition in Butte and it’s only once a year.
“You got to understand, it’s for 12 days, you know, that’s not that big of a deal. Suck it up,” said Mullaney.
The December dates would not change under the new proposal.