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PYROS HOPE TO LIGHT UP SKIES OVER CEDAR VALLEY

If a Sandy pyrotechnics company gets its wish, Cedar Valley residents soon will be enjoying weekly fireworks shows - free of charge.

Lantis Fireworks & Lasers hopes to persuade Utah County officials to amend a conditional-use permit so Lantis can train novices in the handling and firing of pyrotechnics at a 40-acre site southwest of Fairfield. Part of the new training school would include colorful nighttime displays most residents see only on July 4."We found there was a need because a lot of volunteer fire departments and other people go out and shoot fireworks just once a year," said Ken Lantis, a pyrotechnics professional who plans to operate the school on land he currently uses as a manufacturing and storage site.

"We plan to teach people to shoot fireworks properly. I think it will be a nice thing."

Lantis said students in his school would likely fire the pyrotechnics before 10 p.m. in summer months and much earlier than that during the winter. The colorful displays will not be loud, he said, because the school will use relatively small shells.

Lantis' proposal, however, hasn't been met with jubilation on all fronts. Lantis was rebuffed earlier this month by the Utah County Planning Commission because of perceived fire hazards involved with the training school.

Commission members told Lantis his proposal wouldn't fly with them or the County Commission unless he brought proof the fireworks school wouldn't torch the dry grasses and sagebrush covering Cedar Valley. Lantis hopes to bring firefighters and Utah County Fire Marshall Tom Wroe before county planners at their next meeting to vouch for his school's safety.

Wroe said if Lantis takes proper precautionary measures, the fireworks school is feasible.

"There will need to be a great deal of planning and preparation for it," Wroe said. "But I'm actually excited about it.

Lantis hopes to begin training people before July 4 celebrations.