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Grass valley looks at fireworks ban

Britt Retherford

Fourth of July celebrations may seem like a long way off, but Grass Valley city officials have already begun considering a ban on the sale of fireworks in the city limits for next summer.

The discussion of fire safety and fireworks was prompted by fire officials who presented a recommendation to increase the permit fee for stands next summer from $100 to $200 to cover the price tag of ensuring safety.

This last year, the issuing of permits to fireworks stands brought the City of Grass Valley $900. According to studies done by Grass Valley Fire Chief Hank Weston, these permit fees do not cover the cost of fireworks to the city, which was $1,750 for the last holiday.

Resident Walt Bailey argued to the City Council Tuesday evening that fireworks in the city limits make no sense at all. He cited examples of how the availability of “safe and sane” fireworks in Grass Valley were responsible for several fires this year, including a 15-acre wildfire off Lime Kiln Road in late July.

Bailey said he will also be taking the total ban proposal to the Nevada City City Council soon.

Councilwoman Linda Stevens said she would support considering a total ban, but said she feels it would be useless unless there was a more cooperative effort between Nevada City and Grass Valley and possibly even other counties.

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