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Year-round fireworks sales rejected by city Plan Commission

The Hudson Plan Commission has decided the city doesn't have a need for the Myrtle Street right of way between First Street and the St. Croix River. The 30-foot right of way runs between the homes of Sarah Atkins Hoggatt and John Hoggatt, left, and Dean and Roxann Hanson, right. Photo by Randy Hanson

A request by Todd Erskine to sell fireworks year-round at his Erskine Interiors business at 1719 Coulee Road received a thumbs down from the Hudson Plan Commission on Sept. 22.

The city currently allows sales of what are termed fireworks paraphernalia during a six-week window leading up to the Fourth of July. Fireworks paraphernalia includes sparklers, poppers and other items that don't fly or explode.

Mary Claire Potter seemed to express the general sentiment of the Plan Commission regarding year-round fireworks sales when she asked, "Why would we want to open ourselves up to this?"

Commission members discussed Wisconsin's paradoxical fireworks laws that allow fireworks sales, but make it illegal to possess fireworks without a license from a municipality to shoot them off.

Plan Commission member Mary Yacoub envisioned a number of fireworks businesses lining Interstate 94 in the city if year-round sales were permitted.

"I don't want to see 15 other fireworks businesses...," she added.

A motion by Yacoub to recommend that the City Council deny Erskine's request was seconded by Potter and passed on voice vote with no one opposing it.

Erksine said the sale of fireworks would increase revenue for his business and allow him to add employees. He said he hadn't heard of any problems with fireworks sales in other communities.

Myrtle Street right of way

The commission voted to recommend that the city vacate its right of way at the end of Myrtle Street leading to the St. Croix River.

Members agreed with the homeowners making the request -- Dean and Roxann Hanson, Sarah Atkins Hoggatt and John Hoggatt -- that the city doesn't have a use for the property.

Community Development Director Dennis Darnold said the commission's recommendation was just the first step in a process will take at least a couple of months for the city to abandon the street right of way.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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