Assembly Votes to Allow Fireworks on New Year's
Compromise comes with new restrictions
Tuesday night, the Anchorage Assembly voted on an ordinance to allow fireworks within the municipality for several hours on one day of the year – New Year’s Eve.
But it wasn’t a simple decision.
Assembly members say they’ve been bombarded with feedback from constituents on both sides. While some wanted a complete ban in the name of safety, others asked for no restrictions at all.
As it stands, now there are two rules when it comes to lighting the fuse on New Year’s Eve: Fireworks are banned in mobile home parks and within 200 feet of other homes.
Assembly members on both sides agree the regulations are a little confusing. Assemblywoman Elvi Gray-Jackson says she opposed one of the provisions in the first place. In a long distance call from Costa Rica, Gray-Jackson said she originally voted against the amendment banning fireworks within 200 feet of other homes. Several hours later she reconsidered, changing her vote and helping to pass the 200-foot rule by a slim 6 to 5 margin.
Members say Anchorage’s fireworks laws are only temporary, and far from perfect. But until a more permanent solution is found, the New Year’s fireworks regulations will continue to spark controversy.
While last night’s ordinance is set to expire next year, Assemblyman Dick Traini says he’s planning on introducing a more permanent fireworks law in April.