April 21, 2018
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Glenburn planning board to go back to drawing board on fireworks ordinance

By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff

GLENBURN, Maine — The Town Council asked during Thursday’s meeting that the planning board reconvene and reconsider how the town might go about regulating fireworks in Glenburn.

The planning board voted unanimously during a Feb. 14 meeting to recommend the council ban the sale and use of fireworks, but the four councilors at Thursday’s meeting weren’t ready to move forward without considering other options.

Fireworks became legal in Maine at the beginning of 2012, but the law allows individual communities to place permitting and other restrictions or outright bans.

Councilor Rhonda Curtis-Doughty said she would like to see the town keep itself open to potential business by allowing the sale of fireworks in town.

“It’s a big deal, it’s a big expense [to sell fireworks],” Curtis-Doughty said. “So if someone’s going to go to all that expense, I’d personally favor allowing them to do so.”

Council Chairman Michael O’Connor echoed that idea, saying that he felt only one or two large fireworks dealers would start up in the area and that Glenburn could be a viable home for their shops. Glenburn has been eyeing ways to draw more businesses into its largely rural community.

Curtis-Doughty also said she didn’t see any benefits to banning the use of fireworks in town because people will use them regardless of whether it’s legal to do so, especially during the Fourth of July holiday.

Councilor Mark Lagasse argued that the town could see a large number of people setting off fireworks and that could present safety risks, which was one of the reasons the planning board cited in suggesting a ban.

Safety concerns, however, should be the responsibilities of the residents using them, according to O’Connor.

“You have to learn to use them responsibly and you have to put the [onus] on the adults to teach and show that responsibility,” O’Connor said.

O’Connor and the rest of the council asked that the planning board go back and discuss what stipulations it would request in an ordinance that allowed for the sale and use of fireworks.

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