FAIRFIELD — The town will likely restrict fireworks after a public hearing held by the Town Council drew about 60 attendees Wednesday night.

Town Manager Joshua Reny said that the majority of attendees were concerned about fireworks, but few of them called for an outright ban.

“The vast majority of people who were opposed live in the in-town area or in one of the villages,” Reny said. “Most of the people that were there speaking in support of fireworks were from the more rural areas of town and live somewhere where there’s enough acreage that they could safely light fireworks and not bother their neighbors.”

He said that distinction could influence the direction the council takes when considering how to regulate fireworks.

“In town, there needs to be some amount of regulation that would protect people’s safety, whether there are burning papers falling on people’s roofs and littering their yards, and also allowing people to live with a certain amount of tranquility,” Reny said.

Bill Bois, who favors an outright ban said he felt that an acceptance of a ban, except around the Fourth of July, evolved at the meeting.

“For me, it’s a right to be left alone in peace and quiet,” he said. “If I wanted a lot of noise, I’d move to New York City.”

Resident Jeff Zimba said he wants to be able to set off fireworks on his property in the rural part of town, but that he understands the concerns of people who live in town.

“I’m all for fireworks, but I wouldn’t want flaming debris in my yard,” he said.

Still, said Zimba, the law must reflect the reality that residents have been using fireworks for a long time.

“You can’t go to any lake in the state of Maine on the Fourth of July and not see 20 fireworks displays. It’s probably been the case of the biggest mass civil disobedience in the history of the state.”

Adam Hendsbee, 36, is one resident who took advantage of the new law this summer.

For 30 minutes on the Fourth of July, Hendsbee put on what he called “a modest display” at his rural home.

“My 8-year-old, he thought it was the best thing ever,” Hendsbee said.

Hendsbee said that he would like to be able to enjoy fireworks two or three times a year to celebrate holidays or birthdays.

The council is scheduled to officially take up the issue during a workshop meeting at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 25, at the community center.

Reny said that some residents had expressed an intention to submit written recommendations to the council members in advance of the meeting.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287

[email protected]

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