After complaints, Thomaston considering fireworks restrictions

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff
Posted Aug. 28, 2012, at 7:58 a.m.

THOMASTON, Maine — Selectmen have agreed Monday they should hold a meeting to discuss whether to impose additional restrictions on the use of fireworks.

Possible fireworks restrictions were put on the selectmen’s agenda after some residents complained that the late-night use of pyrotechnics was disturbing people and pets.

“Fireworks are going off indiscriminately,” Board Chairwoman Lee-Ann Upham said.

She said she had a dog that ran into the bathroom whenever fireworks were heard.

Some fireworks are being fired off at random hours during the night, she said. Upham also expressed concern about the fireworks igniting a fire during dry periods.

A new state law that took effect Jan. 1 allows the public to possess and use certain types of consumer fireworks. The fireworks only can be used 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. except around the Fourth of July and New Year’s, when they can be fired off from 9 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. the following day.

The law allows municipalities to impose greater restrictions and or ban their use altogether in their communities. Neighboring Rockland, for example, has banned the use of fireworks by the public.

Selectman Peter Lammert, who oversees Thomaston’s annual Fourth of July fireworks, said some of the larger consumer fireworks allowed under the state law should not be in the hands of the public.

Lammert said it would require the public’s help finding the people who are violating the law. He also said that now that the state has allowed the use of fireworks, it would take time to educate people if the town enacts a stricter ordinance.

“It’s going to take three years to calm down the idiots,” Lammert said.

No date for a meeting was set but it will be held with the fire department, town officials said.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/08/28/news/midcoast/after-complaints-thomaston-considering-fireworks-restrictions/ printed on September 2, 2014