RANDOLPH — Selectmen will propose an ordinance that allows the use of fireworks and permits 18-year-olds to shoot them off.

The local rules will go to vote at the town meeting, which is 7 p.m., Wednesday, July 25 at the T.C. Hamlin School.
Maine state law now allows the sale and use of consumer fireworks and sets the age requirement at 21 for both.
“Our police officer, Greg Lumbert, said if you can serve in the military at 18 you can shoot off fireworks,” Henderson said.

Last week, selectmen agreed to look at fireworks ordinances in other communities and develop a draft ordinance in time for the town meeting.

Lumbert, Randolph’s constable, told selectment last week that he has received numerous complaints and asked selectmen to consider an ordinance prohibiting the use of fireworks. He said without local rules, there isn’t anything the town can do if there’s a problem.

“The basic complaint right now is noise after hours,” Lumbert said. “But I do have a concern because the area is so small.”

Randolph is Maine’s smallest municipality by area, and it’s densely populated.
Also attending the meeting were Sally and Mike Sirois, who complained about a neighbor shooting off fireworks too close to their garage.

Robert Henderson, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said Gardiner’s ordinance was five pages long, so selectmen decided to go with Farmingdale’s, which was one page.

“We tweaked it a little bit and took some stuff out and I think it’s going to be good,” Henderson said. “We’re not saying that you can’t have them, but they’ll be regulated so people are safe.”

Aside from allowing 18-year-olds to use fireworks, the proposed ordinance sets down restrictions and penalties.
The most costly offense when using fireworks will be shooting them off under the influence. The first time an impaired person is caught violating that rule, he or she will receive a warning, the second offense will cost $300 and the third time will be a $600 fine. The person also will be prohibited from using fireworks for a year.

Farmingdale’s ordinance allows fireworks between 5–10 p.m., except July 3–5, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. They may not be used at all when the fire danger class, as designated by the Maine Forest Service, is a class 4 or 5 fire danger day.

Henderson also said he would consider allowing a fireworks retail store to open in town.

“I can’t speak for the other two selectmen or how the townspeople would react, but if it brings revenue and business to town, I’d be open to the opportunity to at least explore it and see how it would go,” Henderson said.
Mechele Cooper — 621-5663
[email protected]

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