Schenectady wants to repeal legal sale of sparkler-type fireworks

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – This past week, people had a great time celebrating July 4th by lighting the sky with fireworks and sparklers.

Schenectady city officials are looking to rescind the county law allowing people to buy sparkler-type fireworks. It comes after council members and police received numerous complaints regarding fireworks over the July 4th holiday weekend.

“We were hoping I think that this year, maybe the novelty would wear off and it would calm down a bit. However, that’s not the case,” City Council President Leesa Perazzo says.

That novelty Perazzo says is the law passed last year, legalizing sparkler-type fireworks in Schenectady County.

“We found a significant increase in fireworks usage both legal and illegal after the passage of the law.”

It’s resulted in more police calls and streets getting blocked off in Schenectady.

“Just an onslaught of residents either calling or emailing and contacting us with extreme concern for quality of life as well as public safety.”

Now Perazzo and other members of the City Council want to ask the County Legislature to repeal the law for the safety of their citizens.

“They’re certainly taking an aggressive stance on it,” Schenectady Police Lt. Mark McCracken said.

Lt. McCracken says fireworks were being shot off across the city.

“At the request of City Council, we ran a report of all the calls for service from midnight starting on July 1st – 7 p.m. on July 5th.”

During this time, police answered 141 service calls for fireworks, an increase from last year.

The majority  of calls concerned illegal fireworks.

“Certainly with the legalization of certain sparklers, poppers, and other things,” Lt. McCracken said. “It’s drawn a little bit more attention to it.”

The Council has received some ideas to address the situation.

“Asking our County to take a look at what kind of impact this has on the City of Schenectady and our antiquated, very close housing stock,” Perazzo said.

Another suggestion is looking into the trafficking of illegal fireworks across state lines.

“We were all elected on the Council to protect the residents of Schenectady, the city of Schenectady and I think we have a responsibility to our constituents to do that.”

McCracken says they’re received no reports of injuries or fires that he is aware of.

The City Council will vote this Monday on the issue.

They will decide whether they’ll send a letter to the County asking the law be rescinded or adjusted. They’ll also decide whether they’ll send a letter to state leaders about illegal fireworks trafficking.

 

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