West Baraboo residents will see fewer tents selling fireworks along major thoroughfares in the village ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.
The West Baraboo Village Board on Thursday approved an ordinance restricting the sale of fireworks from temporary retail locations. The rule also prohibits the manufacture, sale and use of large fireworks without a permit, and allows law enforcement to seize illegal explosives.
West Baraboo Village Attorney Mark Steichen said the rule is intended to prevent popup fireworks stands from setting up shop in the parking lots of area businesses.
“Basically what we have is a prohibition on the sale (of fireworks) except for permanent locations, so none of these fly-by-night stands,” he said.
Popup fireworks vendors in the past have been allowed to sell products from tents and other temporary facilities after attaining a permit from the village and paying a $100 fee. Commercial stores also have been allowed to sell fireworks after securing a permit.
Under the new law, temporary fireworks stands are prohibited, and commercial stores will have to attain a permit to sell both large and recreational fireworks. People who wish to use large fireworks also will need a permit. However, licenses are not required to use small, recreational fireworks, like smoke bombs, snakes and sparklers.
Board member Mike Arndt said he’s concerned popup fireworks vendors may try to skirt the ordinance by temporarily leasing commercial spaces in West Baraboo properties.
“I’ve seen these tents out here, and they have pickup loads of potentially flammable material,” he said. “Not that all of the sudden they chuck it in the corner of a building here that’s attached to another building, and we end up with a fire that a sprinkler system can’t handle because it wasn’t designed for it.”
Arndt suggested the village let vendors who have set up shop in the village in the past know about the change.
Board members agreed the letter would provide vendors with ample time to pursue other locations for their fireworks stands. They said they believe fireworks retailers will be more likely to find a different location to set up shop than lease a commercial space in West Baraboo.
In other business, the board:
- Approved a $2,000 expenditure for warning lights on a new GMC pickup;
- Approved an increase for non-sufficient fund fees;
- Approved of an updated fee schedule for licensing;
- Approved a zoning map amendment for Huinker property, which currently has split zoning;
- Approved purchase price to be $5,100 for a GMC pickup truck from Don Larson Chevrolet;
- Approved the purchase of city of Baraboo School Forest property for $133,000.