The Petaluma City Council increased the number of days nonprofits can sell fireworks each year from four to five on Monday, giving charity groups that rely on fireworks sales as a fundraiser one extra day to earn money.
The controversial matter has come before the City Council on numerous occasions over the past few years. Nonprofits have contended that their revenue is negatively impacted by having fewer sale days in Petaluma than nearby cities such as Rohnert Park. Rohnert Park allows firework sales for five days.
Dick Sharke of the nonprofit McDowell Drug Task Force, a major proponent of extending firework sales days, said previously that his group earns about $36,000 a year from its fireworks booth, and that it would earn more if it was able to sell for an additional day.
Fire officials and concerned citizens have argued that fireworks, including the legal Safe and Sane fireworks that nonprofits sell to raise money for their causes, pose a fire risk to the community.
Just this summer, a motion to add another day of sales died when the issue came before the council. The same day as the council considered the issue, a grass fire had swept through a rural area just outside town.
The update to local fire codes also reduced the number of booths that can sell fireworks each year from 22 to 18.