Arundel officials field complaints about fireworks use

By Jennifer Galipeau, York County Coast Star
Posted Aug. 15, 2013, at 2:08 p.m.

ARUNDEL, Maine — The Board of Selectmen spent much of Monday’s meeting discussing firework restrictions with concerned residents.

After several disturbances, some residents are questioning the town’s regulations on fireworks and asking for some restrictions. This is the second year that fireworks have been allowed in Arundel and some residents said they are not sure it is such a good idea.

Fireworks were approved statewide in November 2011 and using them became effective in January 2012. Town Manager Todd Shea said that Arundel had not developed its own regulations, instead voting to follow the state of Maine’s regulations in June 2012.

On Monday night, some residents expressed concerns about the potential dangers of fireworks on dark and windy back roads where drivers can be taken off-guard, causing a potential motor vehicle accident. There were also concerns about potential fires arising from the use of fireworks.

Selectman Jason Nedeau said that fireworks are regulated by fire danger rules.

“They are illegal in high fire danger situations,” he said.

Shea also said that there are different classifications of fireworks.

“Some are legal and some are not,” he said.

“The sheriff on duty could come check them out to make sure they are in legal capacity,” suggested Selectman Daniel Dubois.

Shea said that since fireworks have become legal he has had very few complaints and the York County Sheriff’s Office has had no complaints in town.

“We don’t have the authority to change it,” said Chairman Thomas Danylik.

Because fireworks are regulated by the state, residents were encouraged to contact their state representatives. Shea said that he will continue to log any complaints regarding the use of fireworks in Arundel.

Other agenda items at Monday’s board meeting included waiving the application and permit fee for the Arundel Historical Society’s first Arundel Heritage Day. Under the Mass Gathering Ordinance, fees can be waived for non-profit events. Since the event is for the benefit of the town and not profiting the Historical Society, selectmen approved the waiver 4-0. Velma Jones Hayes abstained due to a conflict of interest. Selectmen also reviewed and approved the application for the Arundel Heritage Day to be held on Sept.14.

The Arundel Recreation Department was also unanimously granted a $400 increase in its petty cash fund. The increase in funds will allow the department to visit destinations that may require a cash-only form of payment without the threat of running out of funds in between replenishments. Jenn Dumas of the recreation department said that she recently took 98 children to a cash-only, low-cost facility and was then left with only $2 in the petty cash fund. Dumas said that some facilities the children visit still do not take credit cards or checks.

Jack Reetz also updated selectmen on the developments pertaining to Mildred L Day School. Reetz explained that each of the three towns [Arundel, Kennebunk and Kennebunkport] were asked to decrease costs to their facility by 10 percent.

“MLD has decreased their costs from $12 million to about $10 million,” Reetz said.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/08/15/news/portland/arundel-officials-field-complaints-about-fireworks-use/ printed on September 20, 2014