Skip to main content

South Valley Journal

Firework update, public health official recognized at Herriman city council meeting

Aug 30, 2017 04:59PM ● By Jana Klopsch

Kami Greenhagen-Jones, her family and Herriman City officials after Greenhagen-Jones was recognized for her work as the chair of the Healthy Herriman and Trails Committee. (Lexi Peery/City Journals)

By Lexi Peery | [email protected]

During the Herriman city council meeting on Aug. 9, Unified Fire Authority Chief Dan Peterson updated the council on how the holidays went with the firework bans the city council enacted. 

Restrictions were placed on certain areas of the city during a city council meeting on July 12. Peterson mentioned several meetings he’ll be having in the future about fire safety in the Salt Lake Valley. Besides working with local leaders and fire marshals, Peterson said he’ll be working with vendors because of their popularity in Utah.  

“I’ve been in the community for about seven months, and what I’ve learned is that Utahns really love their fireworks,” Peterson said. “I’m not a fan of an ultimate ban because it pushes it into other communities, and it creates some challenges. Honestly, my experience has been that it’s almost impossible to enforce, and I really resist having rules that we create that makes it impossible to enjoy ourselves.”

Peterson expressed mixed emotions surrounding making bans throughout the city. He and his team have found that people will go just to the other side of the hazard sign warning against lighting fireworks. Although, he agrees that there are certain areas that should never allow fireworks. It’s all about finding the balance, Peterson said.

To find that balance, Peterson plans to have discussions with many different people in various occupations to find a durable solution that works for the Salt Lake Valley.

Major concerns Peterson voiced during his report to the city council included the hazard of fires starting, along with light and air pollution. One concern that is often forgotten during patriotic holidays, Peterson said, is that residents who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or something similar, struggle around the summer holidays because of the frequent fireworks.

“For us, shrinking the days doesn’t do a whole lot, but enlarging it to 30 days like it was at one point was horrible for us,” Peterson said. “I can understand completely the people who struggle with reacting to the noise, we’d love to see two less days for them. I think we really just need to listen closely to everyone to find a solution.”

Also during the meeting, Kami Greenhagen-Jones was recognized for her work as the chair of the Healthy Herriman and Trails Committee. Greenhagen-Jones has held that position since 2008, and now will be working for a different department for the city.

Throughout her tenure as chair, Greenhagen-Jones advocated for health, wellness, safety and open spaces in the community. Greenhagen-Jones expressed appreciation for the city council, Mayor Carmen Freeman and others who have volunteered to help her over the years. 

“I just want to thank the city and Mayor Freeman for his willingness to support public health,” Greenhagen-Jones. “Many people don’t see the impact that public health makes, but you feel it since it affects quality of life and well-being.” 

City Councilmember Coralee Moser thanked Greenhagen-Jones, her husband and her children for the dedication they showed toward the city and in preserving the land in and around the city.

“We had these fledgling community activities that started, and she just took the bull by the horns and turned them into phenomenal events which has had a big impact on our city,” Moser said. “The thousands of acres of trail space that’s now being preserved was championed by Kami and embraced now by residents because of her efforts. The future will look entirely different if we would not have had her involved.”

Freeman added to Moser’s remarks, thanking Greenhagen-Jones for her service, and appreciated the fact that she’ll still be around the city government to help when needed.

“I hope we can take advantage of the trails; they are beautifully done, and we have a lot yet to do,” Freeman said. “We’ll still have her around and get her input because she has a lot of knowledge and experience.”