Ferndale City Council to consider fireworks ban, restrictions

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJuly 16, 2014 

0624 Fireworks PAD

Carlos Castaneda Jr., 12, helps stock the fireworks stand owned by his family Monday, June 23, 2014, on Haxton Way on the Lummi Reservation.

PHILIP A. DWYER — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo

FERNDALE - Ferndale City Council will discuss banning or restricting fireworks in the city at its meeting Monday, July 21.

The topic is up only for discussion - with time for public comment - after the council's public safety and neighborhood services committee moved the idea along to the full council.

The committee discussed a potential ban at its meeting Wednesday, with Bellingham Police Chief Cliff Cook providing some background about how Bellingham's ban has worked in its first year.

"Surprisingly, it went better than we anticipated," Cook told the committee. "(Before), it was an unmanageable issue for us. We could not get to the vast majority of those calls even when we staffed up."

From a law enforcement perspective, he said, a full fireworks ban is easier to enforce. The difficulty with a partial ban, Cook said, is differentiating what is legal from what is illegal, especially after something has been fired.

Ferndale Police Chief Michael Knapp agreed and recommended a full ban if the city changes its fireworks laws.

The council won't vote on a ban at its Monday meeting, but it could ask city staff to put together an ordinance that could be voted on at a later meeting.

Reach Zoe Fraley at 360-756-2803 or zoe.fraley@bellinghamherald.com.

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