City Council to consider fireworks sales within city limits

Fayetteville residents usually don’t have to travel too far to buy fireworks in the days leading up to the Fourth of July, but if a new ordinance is passed tonight, the trip to the fireworks stand will get even shorter.

The Fayetteville City Council will consider allowing the sale of fireworks inside the city limits between June 28 to July 5.

It is currently illegal to sell fireworks in Fayetteville, but besides being a minor hassle for residents, city officials say the law also keeps out thousands of sales tax dollars.

According to a city memo attached to tonight’s council agenda packet, fireworks sales could generate $18,000 in sales tax and an additional $7,000 in permit fees each season.

“We felt that at a time when we need every income we can get, we ought to open [fireworks sales] up and allow it to be done,” said Chief of Staff Don Marr.

If the sentiment at last week’s agenda session is any indication, the ordinance should pass without much opposition. Most council members seemed to be in favor of the proposal.

“I think it’s high time we do this,” said council member Shirley Lucas during the agenda session. “It upsets me to drive a few feet outside the city limits and see those great big [fireworks stands].”

Alderman Matthew Petty echoed Lucas saying, “I think we should get it passed as quickly as we can to make sure it happens this season.”

The current law which prohibits the use of “skyrockets” and “firecrackers or any other exploding fireworks” within the city limits will remain intact, but is expected to be re-examined sometime soon.