WINTHROP — The Town Council has taken its first step toward banning the sale of consumer fireworks, but permitting their use.

Councilors voted 6-0 Monday to approve a local ordinance on fireworks in anticipation of their use and sale becoming legal in the state Jan. 1. There will be at least a month, however, between when the state law goes into effect and the local rules take effect because councilors must take one more vote on the ordinance.

“There will be a second reading in January,” Cookson said. He said the local ordinance will become effective 30 days after that vote.

Under the new state law, the sale and use of consumer fireworks will be legal throughout the state unless specifically restricted by a municipality.

The state law permits the use of fireworks between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m., with exceptions for the Fourth of July and New Year’s holidays, when the deadline is extended to 12:30 a.m. the next day. Winthrop will restrict use to 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Winthrop’s ordinance will also ban fireworks when burn permits are not being issued because of increased fire hazard.

The town council’s ordinance also incorporates the state’s ban on the use of fireworks by people under the age of 21. And, it will be illegal to sell fireworks in town.

Chairman Kevin Cookson pointed out that Winthrop’s ordinance provides for annual review by the town council.

The council’s unanimous vote concludes a process that began months ago and has seen starts and stops. An attempt to craft an ordinance was postponed by councilors in August and then again in September. In early November an attempt to reopen debate on the ordinance failed, setting the stage for adoption of the state’s broader provisions.

A week later, though, the council reversed itself and voted to proceed with the ordinance.

In other business Monday, the council voted 6-0 to fund the purchase of new financial accounting software, to be paid for by a budget windfall arising from a smaller-than-expected increase in health insurance costs. About $10,000 of the windfall will be used to pay for future increases in benefit costs, town officials said.

Town Manager Jeff Woolston also confirmed that he plans to seek approval next month for several new and increased fees in an attempt to shift municipal revenue away from property taxes.

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