Hammond board hears fireworks stand concerns

2012-07-07T17:52:00Z 2012-07-07T22:11:40Z Hammond board hears fireworks stand concernsBy Chelsea Schneider Kirk chelsea.schneider@nwi.com, (219) 933-3241 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | Concerns about loud music and other activities at a fireworks stand on the southeast corner of 175th Street and Calumet Avenue were brought before the Board of Public Works and Safety on Thursday.

Hammond City Councilwoman Janet Venecz, D-at large, requested board members look into revoking the license at the business, saying she's received numerous complaints from residents who live in the area.

“They have huge blow-up balloons. They have scantily clad young girls waving flags into traffic on Calumet Avenue,” Venecz said.

“I don't know what to say about this business other than during the Fourth of July holiday, this business is the first impression of Hammond that people coming off the expressway or traveling north on Calumet Avenue have of our city. This is not a fair representation of our city.”

City Controller Bobby Lendi, who serves on the board, said there is no business license for the fireworks stand. A license for a jewelry store, V&B Jewelers, that operated at the same corner expired on June 30, Lendi said.

The board set a July 19 hearing to address fireworks stand issues.

“This address has so many significant problems that we need to find some sort of remedy not only for the city, but mostly for the residents around it,” Lendi said. “I don't think we can wait any longer.”

City Attorney Kris Kantar said the business has been issued at least six citations for violating a city ordinance against interfering with vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

The city denied an application for the same individuals last year to operate a fireworks store across the street at 7530 Calumet Ave., Lendi said.

This year licenses were applied for 7517 Calumet Ave. for a retail food store and for 7509 Calumet Ave. for a business named “7509 Calumet Fireworks, Inc.,” Lendi said. However, those applications are still pending, Lendi said.

A woman who answered a phone number for the business disputed those claims, arguing the business has a state-issued fireworks permit. She declined to give her name.

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