ALPENA - The Alpena Township Board of Trustees considered the growing popularity of the Long Lake Lights Festival and the impact it has on the community. Supervisor Marie Twite said concerns about activities, licenses, vendors and local authorities were brought to her attention while she considered the view of the local emergency planning team and Alpena county parks and recreation commission.
"The event is growing quickly and drawing people into a specific area that can't be handled. We want to make sure all areas are well covered," Alpena Township Fire Department North Capt. Mark Hall said. "Law enforcement strongly believes that they need a stronger presence for a longer amount of time to keep this a good thing."
The board currently has control over the fireworks permit, but questioned the role it has in the festival during the county park events.
"You do have a role in it. Without fireworks there isn't much of a lights festival," Hall said.
Trustee Matt Dunckel said the main issue with the festival is drunk and disorderly, and noise violations.
"In the past all we did was approve the fireworks ... We can't control the crowd," Trustee Lou Baker said.
Baker said crowd control and security coverage is necessary, but he is unwilling to pay for the services as a board.
"The township is not going to pay for personnel for security," Baker said.
The board did not take any action on next year's festival, but Twite said she knew the issue eventually would come up and plans on discussing the issue again in the future.
"Our fingerprints are all over it. We have to do something about it," Dunckel said. "My concern is for the people that don't want to party."
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