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G'view to consider banning fireworks

GRANDVIEW - A "war zone" type celebration of the Fourth of July last week has prompted Grandview Mayor Norm Childress to schedule a public meeting to address the possibility of banning fireworks in that community.

At the public hearing, set for Monday, July 18, at 7:30 p.m. in Grandview City Council chambers, testimony will be taken concerning the continuation of the sale and use of fireworks within the city limits.

Grandview is one of only seven cities in Yakima County that permits the sale and discharge of fireworks. Although there were no major fires or injuries over the Fourth of July weekend in Grandview this year, city staff said there appeared to be an unprecedented amount of fireworks set off. The community, say many residents, resembled a "war zone," not the patriotic celebration that has traditionally been noted in past years.

City officials also note that the cost of cleaning up the fireworks debris from the parks and city streets, plus the cost of extra fire department and police department coverage, is a difficult and unnecessary burden for Grandview taxpayers to bear.

"The cost of clean-up and emergency services when Grandview's resources are stretched to the limit requires serious debate on this issue," Childress said.

Childress said the question of whether it is prudent to continue allowing the sale and discharge of fireworks in Grandview has been debated a number of times in past years. He said because of the large fireworks display this year, coupled with public concern and the use of alcohol in public, it is time again to put the issue on the table and seek out the opinions of local residents.

The July 18 public hearing will be held in conjunction with the regularly scheduled meeting of the Grandview City Council. Those who want to comment on the fireworks issue may do so at that time, or they can provide their written comments to the Grandview city clerk prior to next Monday's meeting.

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