Cushing to vote on restricting fireworks
Cushing — Residents of Cushing will decide on an ordinance crafted to limit the use and prohibit the sale of fireworks in the town at the polls Nov. 5.
The proposed ordinance is titled Town of Cushing Holiday Fireworks Ordinance. It includes that no person may sell fireworks in the town, and consumer fireworks on a property can only be discharged from noon until 12:30 a.m. on July 4, Dec. 31, and the weekends immediately before or after those dates.
At previous select board meetings, a retired firefighter said he was concerned a fire caused by fireworks during the dry summer season could not be contained by the volunteer fire department. "I'm all for people having fun, but having fun within reason," he said.
Other residents were concerned about the constant use of fireworks, at "any time of day, any time of night." One person said the fireworks in her area cause huge explosions and may not be legal judging by the size and height of the fireworks. The noises also bothered people's pets in the town.
Fireworks are now allowed in the town and can be used until 10 p.m. According to state law, fireworks are allowed until 1 a.m. on the Fourth of July and New Year's holidays.
If accepted, the ordinance also requires a commercial fireworks display to receive a permit from the Maine Commissioner of Public Safety. The Cushing fire chief, or his or her designee, shall inspect the proposed display site at the time of its inspection by a representative of the Maine Public Safety Department.
Any use of fireworks or consumer fireworks that creates “loud and unreasonable noise” shall constitute disorderly conduct under state law, states the proposed town law. If a person violates the ordinance, they could face a civil penalty of $200 to $500 per day and attorney's fees. The Knox County Sheriff's Office will respond to complaints and the select board will also enforce the law, and is able to authorize the town attorney to prosecute violations.
If accepted, the ordinance will be immediately enforced.
Voting will take place at the community center Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Courier Publications' reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
594-4401 ext. 118
Juliette primarily covers the cops and courts beat for The Courier-Gazette.
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