Store owners want to stop Tent Fireworks Sales in East Ridge

The city of East Ridge was in court today trying to enforce a city ordinance that requires fireworks’ vendors to sell from tents. I spoke with multiple fire works dealers in East Ridge today who say it’s not about the competition. It’s about everyone playing by the same rules…

“It is not about the competition. I mean, we are going to have competition that is business, but there was ordinances in place that we followed,” said Exit 1A Store Fireworks store manager Michele Privett.

Last year when the city of East Ridge lost a lawsuit to a fireworks company that allowed a tent to be setup, it left many local fireworks’ owners upset and asking, “Why did I need a building if they don’t.”

Clyde Locke, owner of Dixie Fireworks said, “We sure I’d put me a tent up. I wouldn’t have spent no 700, 800 thousand dollars building a building.”

Private added, “We would have done something less expensive. Less I mean you know if you didn’t have to be open year around and have to build these huge building with sprinkler systems and everything. I mean that would have been nice to have another option also.”

Michele Privett brought up another topic of concern for local business owners according to the ordinance. The store must be open 7 days a week year around, but last year the tent that was set up was gone after the 4th of July.

“Here for about 25 days or so, and then they are gone and anyway, I am here paying taxes,” said Locke.

The city is still in court. The issue has yet to be resolved, but business owners stressed to me that their objections are not about the competition.

“The bottom line is I had to do what the ordinance said and they are not, because a judge told them they didn’t have to. That is what I’m concerned with if he went next door and build a building like me fine,” said Locke.

Categories: Local News

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