Firework stand owners up in arms about city ordinance

It is a lucrative business during the holiday season.

"We make a lot of money, Laura Garcia-Lopez told Action 4 News. We make over $50,000 dollars." But that was last year. This year sales have been less than impressive for the handful of ~Mom and Pop TM firework stands scattered around Rio Grande City.

Christmas I didn't sell, Cynthia Garcia said. We're going to be losing a lot of money."

But the economy isn TMt to blame.

These owners blame a new city ordinance that required them to close up shop and move out of town.

"We're going to lose, Jorge said. We're going to lose money and with all the expenses that we went through just to get it going again. It's hard

Despite being pushed out of the city limits and relocated to areas that are somewhat hard to find|

They all complied.

All of them except one---these owners claim that stand continues to sell inside the city limits, right off of Highway 83, despite being told numerous times to shut down and move out.

"It's not fair, Lopez started. I mean who are we supposed to go to and ask about this? The authorities are telling us anything. They've stopped giving out citations. What are they doing for us? The residents of Rio Grande City."

Action 4 News took their concerns to Rio Grande City leaders.

Mayor Ruben Villarreal said something will be done and before New Year TMs Eve"the busiest day of the year for firework sales.

As we speak, I'm walking out of a meeting with our police chief who will help police the situation, Villarreal said. We will form a taskforce that will be comprised of three or four officers that will work the area and watch out for transactions with firework stands that are not complying with the ordinance." It is a step in the right direction the upset owners told Action 4 News|.but one they hope will make a difference and not cost them money in the end. For any person illegally selling fireworks in the city limits of Rio Grande City"they will have to pay a $500 fine for each transaction.