CACHE, OK (KSWO) - The shooting and sale of fireworks is now illegal within Cache city limits, but maybe not for long.
The decision has been a divisive topic in Cache for several years and Monday night, the city council approved the ban on a two-to-one vote.
However, one council member was absent and had the vote been a tie, Mayor Shawn Komahcheet told 7NEWS he would have broken the tie by voting against the ban.
The mayor said the ordinance won't actually be ready for final approval until the next council meeting in June, so in the meantime, he's trying to work with both sides to create a proposal that could allow fireworks on a limited basis.
One option might mean the town has one big fireworks show at the city park on July 4. The other option might mean that they let citizens buy a permit to shoot off fireworks, but only on their own property within a certain time frame.
Mayor Komahcheet said fireworks have been a big topic of discussion in Cache for years. Fireworks are illegal in Lawton, so he said every fourth of July, the town is overrun with people from out of town who come to shoot off fireworks. He said it's a huge public safety issue.
"Everybody has a big party at their house to shoot off fireworks and it's usually alcohol related and the streets are full and we can't get emergency vehicles in and out," Komahcheet said. "If we had a structure fire on some of our streets we couldn't get an engine to it. There's been some streets that we couldn't get an ambulance down because of everybody coming to Cache to discharge fireworks."
Mayor Komahcheet said he knows there are people that love shooting off fireworks on the Fourth of July and he doesn't want to take that away from them, but besides safety issues there have also been noise complaints and a big problem with littering. He thinks regulations are needed that would keep both sides happy. One solution he is working on is to have one big fireworks display in city park for the entire town to come out and enjoy.
"Or possibly even having the residents who want to discharge fireworks buy a city permit and if they buy a city permit they will only be allowed to discharge between certain hours and they will be responsible for their own trash," Komahcheet said.
Mayor Komahcheet said that would allow them to only shoot off the fireworks on their own property, not on city or commercial property or streets. He said going forward, he will work with both the citizens of Cache and the council members to hopefully find some common ground.
7NEWS spoke to residents in Cache and while no one wanted to go on camera, most people were very vocal on the issue. For all those who opposed the decision to ban fireworks, there were just as many wishing it happened years ago.