WINTHROP — Fireworks can be used, but not sold, in town under a revised set of guidelines approved by town officials.

The final ordinance, approved Monday night by the Town Council, expands the hours when fireworks can be used and goes into effect March 6.

Under the ordinance, fireworks can be shot off from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Those hours are extended to 12:30 a.m. for the Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve, and the weekends both before and after those holidays.

It also requires the availability of fire extinguishers and phone access to 9-1-1 and prohibits anyone from using fireworks while consuming or under the influence of alcohol.

The ordinance was approved unanimously by councilors in a 6-0 vote and goes into effect 30 days after Monday’s vote.

The council’s vote ended a debate that began last September when an evenly split council, unable to move forward to a public hearing, voted to postpone consideration of a fireworks ordinance.

Also on Monday night, the council approved several new and increased fees, including those for animal impoundments, unlawful parking, printed reports from town offices, as well as response by the fire and police departments to alarms. They will all be increased by $5.

A new $300 fee will be levied for fire department response to chemical spills and vehicular accidents that require the extrication of occupants.

Other fee increases will be considered and voted on after public hearings at future town council meetings.

The town council also unanimously approved a proposed amendment to the town’s tax increment financing arrangement with the Winthrop Commerce Center, formerly the Carleton Woolen Mill. The amendment adds estimated increases in the property’s value resulting from property improvements that are expected during the remaining 14 years of the tax break.

Under the terms of the arrangement, the town would receive 25 percent of the projected new taxes from the project, beginning in 2016. That figure would rise to 50 percent in 2021.

The town must spend those tax revenues on economic development, according to state law.

The amendment will be considered later at a public hearing.

and then the council will take a final vote.


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