Last month Brandon voters approved an ordinance to discharge 1.4G fireworks. The ordinance allowed residents to shoot fireworks within the city limits of Brandon, with limitations.
The ordinance approved the discharging of fireworks on private property on July 3 and 4 from 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. only. Only fireworks purchased from a licensed retail outlet were allowed in the ordinance. The discharging of fireworks on public roads and property remained prohibited. The fine for such discharges is $250.00.
Although there were some complaints on Facebook from Brandon residents over the holiday weekend about debris on city sidewalks and streets, there were only 10 official complaints called into the Brandon Police Department. Chief Joe Weir said those complaints resulted in either an unable to locate or verbal warnings. There were no citations issued.
“It was definitely manageable,” Weir said. “All in all, it was relatively quiet, but you obviously still had some complaints. I think people were pretty patient and understanding.”
The vote to approve fireworks last month was close. Voters approved the measure 867-627, and Weir said he thought there may be some complaints.
Weir said he monitored the Sioux Falls call log over the weekend, and at any given time there were 40-50 active calls on the log.
“I don’t think there’s any perfect solution,” Weir said. “There’s always going to be people who are willing to celebrate in a way that they feel they have the right to do, whether it’s illegal or legal. I think there’s always going to be challenges around the Fourth of July.”
Weir said the police force in Brandon was fully staffed over the weekend to help deter illegal shooting of fireworks as best as possible.
“We had a few extra cars out on patrol to try and discourage people from discharging fireworks outside of the timeframe allowed,” he said. “We also wanted to discourage the launching of fireworks from public areas like roads and parks.”
Mayor Paul Lundberg said he was pleasantly surprised that only 10 official complaints came into the police department and that no citations were issued.
Lundberg issued the following statement to the Brandon Valley Challenger:
“I was very pleased to see that there were limited complaints. It ended up being a great night for the Fourth of July, and I was thankful most people used them responsibly and safely. While many residents voted to approve the fireworks, it is important to keep in mind there were still many residents with concerns. I was thankful that most residents choosing to participate in fireworks remained mindful of those around them who had reservations. Fireworks have risks, but I am glad the majority acted responsibly and respectfully.”
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