HOULTON, Maine — Just before the law making fireworks sales and use legal in the state took effect Jan. 1, the Houlton Town Council revised its local codes to regulate them in the community.
During a recent meeting, councilors approved specific regulations regarding the local sale, possession and use of fireworks as allowed under the new state law.
When the council first discussed potential regulations in November, they did not seriously consider banning them but talked about steps to protect people and property. In particular, the council wanted to focus on keeping them out of residential neighborhoods and imposing limits on when they could be set off.
Councilors were not particularly concerned about a fireworks store opening in town, as they did not consider it economically viable. So far, no such store has opened.
The new ordinance, adopted Dec. 27, allows people to purchase fireworks within the community.
The town is requiring that people who plan to set them off have an acre of land or more in which to do so. They must also be at least 100 feet from a tree line and 300 feet from another home or building when they set the fireworks off.
Fireworks are prohibited in Market Square, Houlton’s historic downtown and business district, and they cannot be set off in residential neighborhoods.
You have to be 21 years old in order to use them.
In order to minimize noise and distraction, fireworks have to be set off before 10 p.m. and after 8 a.m.
Town officials also ask that users contact the Houlton Fire Department before discharging any fireworks.
The penalty for violators is a $100 fine.
Some cities across the state, such as Portland and Augusta, have banned fireworks.