The Greater Garden Valley Chamber of Commerce had a meeting with the members to decide on the firework situations in Crouch on the 4th of July. After good planning and additional security in place it was still hard to manage the use of illegal fireworks in the Center of the City of Crouch.
Thousands of people show up with loads of fireworks and alcohol. The efforts have become a loss to the chamber and other organizations. Some business thrive with the influx of people on that one night. On the other hand the many locals stay away because many do not feel it is a safe event.
Many mixed feelings have kept the 4th of July going in Crouch, but now the Chamber and local property owners decided it was time to do something different before something serious happens. Diane Caughlin, President of the GGVCC says, “It is only a matter of time.” Resources will not have to be trying to manage the fireworks in town that usually last 3 to 4 hours. Their efforts can be taking care of the other fire district emergencies.
Member of the Chamber agreed to work with private property owners and business owners to continue with chamber sponsored activities but NOT allow any fireworks in town. The only fireworks are the Chamber fireworks that are set off at dusk. Plans for a media campaign will be in full force to keep the word circulating that “Don’t bring your fireworks into our town”.
The city council of Crouch is working on an ordinance following the Idaho fireworks law which is saying no illegal fireworks can be set off. That is law and it can be enforced with a city ordinance. Basically by not allowing any fireworks in town, no one has to decide what is considered legal or illegal.
Where fireworks are set off in the center of town, most people do not realize that the road that is not owned by the city. It is owned by property owners of the businesses. These property owners do not want people trespassing on their property and setting off the fireworks any longer. It has gotten so out of hand and dangerous and a big expense of cleanup and repairs the day after. Property owners and city leaders along with the Sheriff’s office will be working together to enforce the “no fireworks” decision.
The efforts now is to re-establish firework rules following Idaho law. Members of the Chamber Board all agree this will be a big task but with the 4th being on a Tuesday, they feel it is a good time for resetting rules for the purpose of safety. What was once a simple idea….to set off personal fireworks in town and keep them out of the forests has turned into a chaotic event. These new plans can deter excessive use of illegal fireworks and alcohol and bring back a more family style tradition to celebrate Independence Day in Crouch.