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New Richmond ignites fireworks rules discussion

New Richmond may get its first fireworks retailer.

Gibby's Lanes along Highway 64 is seeking permission to open a temporary fireworks business out of its banquet center and a possible sales tent in its parking lot.

To allow for the business, Police Chief Mark Samelstad is working on a new city ordinance that would regulate the sale of fireworks. With the help of City Attorney Ron Siler, Samelstad is reviewing ordinances from Roberts and Baldwin to come with the necessary rules for New Richmond.

The issue, which was discussed at Monday's regular meeting, will return before the New Richmond City Council at a special meeting slated for Tuesday, April 17.

Jamie Gibson, owner of Gibby's, said he'd like to sell fireworks from the start of June through July.

"A six to eight week period," he said.

Gibson suggested the city require a user fee for anyone buying fireworks locally. The $3 per permit fee would generate some needed income for the community, he said.

Mayor Fred Horne said the permit would simply allow people to buy fireworks.

"It still doesn't allow you to set them off in the community," Horne said. "It allows you to buy them and set them off elsewhere."

Gibson said he'd like permission to open his fireworks business as soon as possible so he can get products ordered.

City Council member Jane Hansen said the business would have to meet state and federal safety regulations before it could open.

Gibson said his property would meet all such safety regulations.

For the complete council story, see this week's New Richmond News.