Elmwood discusses fire dept. needs and possible fireworks ordinance
Elmwood Township’s Public Safety Committee met this month to discuss two items: the township fire department’s long-range equipment needs, and whether the township should consider adopting a fireworks ordinance.
No formal decisions or recommendations were made at the meeting, according to township clerk Connie Preston, who serves on the committee.
Preston reported that on July 13 committee members heard from township fire chief Keith Tampa who outlined a need for the department to replace an aging “brush truck” with a more modern “mini-pumper” sometime in the coming year.
The clerk said the committee has no immediate plan to suggest that a millage proposal might be put before voters to pay for new fire department equipment. Committee members urged Tampa to develop a long-range plan for equipment replacement over the next decade to help determine how new vehicles and other equipment might be paid for going forward, Preston said.
The committee also discussed what might be required for the township to develop a fireworks ordinance, the clerk reported. The committee’s discussion was prompted by several noise complaints received by township officials after a new state law went into effect legalizing the sale of more powerful fireworks to private individuals.
“The real issues with having a fireworks ordinance are who will enforce it and how violations might be prosecuted,” Preston said. “We might not know the answers to those questions until after August.”
A political race for the offices Leelanau County Sheriff and Leelanau County Prosecuting Attorney are under way and may be decided after the Primary Election in August.
Sheriff candidate Del Moore, an Elmwood Township resident who works as police chief in the Village of Suttons Bay, serves as a member of Elmwood Township’s Public Safety Committee. According to Preston, Moore suggested that Elmwood Township could consider drafting and adopting a “noise ordinance” similar to one he enforces in the Village of Suttons Bay, in lieu of a fireworks ordinance.
“We need to do a lot more research on this issue,” Preston said. “Our discussions are very preliminary.”