Elizabethton City Council approves fireworks warehouse resolution on first reading

Published 9:57 am Friday, April 12, 2024

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Star Correspondent

A divided Elizabethton City Council on Thursday evening barely passed a resolution to allow wholesale distribution and warehousing of fireworks.

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It is currently unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to possess, manufacture, store, distribute, offer for sale, sell at retail, or use or explode any fireworks, including consumer fireworks, according to Elizabethton Municipal Code.

The resolution would permit wholesale distribution and warehousing of fireworks, but nothing else, according to Councilman Mike Simerly. There will continue to be no retail sales of fireworks, Simerly added.

Simerly said the resolution does not change the city’s ban on the use or sale of consumer fireworks.

Assistant City Manager Logan Engle said businesses would be required to purchase a $300 permit from the city and meet fire codes. In addition, city and state officials would inspect the sites for such business in Elizabethton, Engle said.

The state of Tennessee also requires businesses to obtain a $1,000 wholesaler of fireworks permit from the Department of Commerce and Insurance Division of Fire Prevention.

Elizabethton Fire Chief Barry Carrier told the council members that there are currently no facilities in the city that meet codes that permit wholesale distribution and warehousing of fireworks.

An Elizabethton business owner has sought to use a building in the city for warehousing of fireworks, but Carrier said the property does not currently meet code.

The resolution passed 4-3 on first reading. Council members Richard Barker, Jeff Treadway and Wes Frazier voted against the proposal. Mayor Curt Alexander, Mayor Pro Tem William “Bill” Carter, Councilman Kim Birchfield and Simerly approved the resolution. Alexander, who made the deciding vote, said it was a difficult decision.

For final approval, the matter will be on next month’s agenda for public hearing and second reading.