The County of Wetaskiwin is moving ahead with fully approved fire protection services, fees and charges bylaw for fireworks sales, despite dissatisfaction with the bylaw’s wording coming from the county’s reeve.
Reeve Kathy Rooyakkers opposed the first and second readings of the bylaw, given during council’s April 4 general meeting, but voted in favour to take it to third reading followed by the third and final reading.
Rooyakkers said she found the bylaw unclear on who is being charged for fireworks permits.
The bylaw put before council during their meeting shows a $10 permit charge for users and and a $5 charge to retailers for low level fireworks permits.
“I’m not in favour of charging at all. The retailers aren’t happy,” said Rooyakkers.
Under the bylaw, fire permits have no charge and high level fireworks permits also have no charge.
Mike Zajac, director of emergency services, says he has not heard any grumblings from retailers he spoke with, and added other communities — such as Bonnyville — saw fireworks sales go up with under the permitting process.
Coun. Larry McKeever says he would like to see businesses have the opportunity to sell the unused fireworks permits they purchased back to the county.
He also questioned why the bylaw was charging for low level fireworks permits but not for high level fireworks. “I think if we’re going to charge for low level, in fairness, we should charge for the high level.”
“I agree with Larry. If we’re going to permit this stuff, permit everybody,” said Coun. Terry Van de Kraats.
Rooyakkers also wanted it added to the bylaw that interested retailers be required to purchase a minimum of 25 permits.