SUMMERVILLE — This town can only hope the Fourth of July passes as quietly as the law restricting fireworks its council just passed.
Summerville fireworks law
The law prohibits discharging fireworks:
Between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m. Exceptions allow it from 10 a.m. New Year’s Eve until 1 a.m. New Year’s Day, and from 10 a.m. July Fourth until 1 a.m. July 5.
Onto neighboring private or public property. Exceptions are public firework displays authorized to be held on town property.
And Mayor Bill Collins took a quiet seat in the audience at the meeting this week to watch the rest of Town Council approve in a preliminary vote his pay raise from $15,000 to $45,000. The move will be given a final vote in July.
The town has banned fireworks during later night and earlier morning hours, as well as shooting onto a neighboring property or public property.
The new law has teeth: Violators could be fined up to $500 and sent to jail for up to 30 days. It came in response to recurring resident complaints about fireworks fired off into the late nights surrounding Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve holidays.
But the town eyed fireworks ordinances for 10 years, including at one point an outright ban, only to get snuffed.
Fireworks laws are one of those no-wins for local governments. Nearly every Lowcountry municipality has one now, except Mount Pleasant. But police concede frankly they are tough to enforce: By the time officers respond, the show is over.
Because this law wouldn’t be a ban, and has specific citable offenses, council members think it might work.
Collins would be paid to compensate for his dual role as acting town administrator. The raise would be effective in January 2014, for one year. Councilman Aaron Brown asked for the mayor to submit monthly reports to council on day-to-day operations; council received similar reports from the former town administrator before Collins took over the role.
Reach Bo Petersen at 937-5744, @bopete on Twitter or Bo Petersen Reporting on Facebook.