Complaints prompt M'ville to ponder limiting fireworks

2012-07-24T21:40:00Z 2012-07-24T23:28:05Z Complaints prompt M'ville to ponder limiting fireworksBy Chas Reilly, (219) 662-5324

MERRILLVILLE | The Town Council might begin considering stricter fireworks regulations after a resident expressed concerns about excessive fireworks use in the Lincoln Gardens subdivision.

Traci Stratten told councilmen that people begin shooting off fireworks in her community several weeks before the Fourth of July. The fireworks activity continues several weeks after Independence Day.

She said some of the fireworks are so strong that they "rattle houses."

"It's become crazy," Stratten said, "It's just too much."

Several town leaders said they agree with Stratten's concerns.

Council President Shawn Pettit said he thinks using fireworks are "a waste of money."

He instructed Councilman Don Spann to discuss the matter in a Council Affairs Committee meeting and work with Town Attorney John Bushemi to determine what action Merrillville can take to strengthen its ordinance.

Police Chief Joseph Petruch said Merrillville follows the state ordinance, which says consumer fireworks are to be used only from 5 to 10 p.m. June 29 through July 3, 10 a.m. to midnight July 4, 5 to 10 p.m. July 5 through 9 and 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.

Petruch said it's "disgusting" when parents give fireworks to children and let the children shoot them off without supervision.

Stratten is worried about the excessive fireworks issue causing problems for elderly residents who live in her community.

She said her elderly father has medical issues and she doesn't want him to suffer any additional problems caused by the loud noises from the fireworks.

Stratten also said her dog is "petrified" by the fireworks. She has to give the dog medication to stay calm.

"I don't want to have to drug my dog everyday," she said.

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