HALLOWELL — There will be fireworks at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Councilors will take on an issue under discussion in many cities around the state: Whether to sanction retail sales of consumer fireworks.

An act of the Legislature allowing the use, possession and sale of consumer fireworks will take effect Jan. 1, but the law allows municipalities to ban or regulate them.

Hallowell Town Manager Mike Starn, Police Chief Eric Nason and Fire Chief Mike Grant will review options for councilors on Tuesday but likely won’t make any recommendations.

Hallowell could ban fireworks in all or parts of the city, allow them without any restrictions, or set up a system similar to the issuance of burn permits by the Fire Department to regulate their use.

Creating a carefully considered permitting process will take time, Starn said.

“I think that in some respects is why the few communities that we’ve heard about that have taken some action have just decided to ban it,” he said. “That may be a temporary solution for them. It might be kind of like a moratorium to figure out how to regulate it.”

Grant said that, like many other fire chiefs in the state, he thought legalizing fireworks was a bad idea.

“But it’s now been passed, so we just have to adapt to it and deal with it as best we can,” he said.

People already shoot off fireworks illegally in Hallowell, and their use is likely to increase no matter what the city does just by virtue of their being available for sale in Maine, Grant said.

The new law probably will create more work for public safety forces, who will need to respond to injuries, accidental fires and neighbor complaints.

“Whether we ban it or we regulate it or we do nothing, there’s going to be an increase in nuisance complaints,” Starn said. “We’re going to have to answer those complaints.”

Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in City Hall.

Susan McMillan — 621-5645

[email protected]


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