Consumer fireworks remain in Fort Kent's future, for now

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25 April 2012

FORT KENT– In the ongoing discussion about whether the town of Fort Kent will enact a new town fireworks ordinance to regulate consumer fireworks, town councilors voted Monday four to one to uphold the planning board decision to refrain from creating a town ordinance on the issue and instead, to enforce the state regulations concerning the explosive consumer devices.

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Councilor Priscilla Staples voted against the proposal, citing concerns about the safety of children around the potential safety hazards. Other councilors pointed out that the state regulations clearly state that users of consumer fireworks can only be used on their own property with the appropriate setbacks, and only those 21 and older can legally purchase them. In support of the proposal, various councilors cited the safety hazards inherent in firearms in the home, bicycles, sports equipment, etc., with councilor Jake Robichaud adding that he was “against overregulation.”

Councilor Tony Gauvin said the intent of the state’s proposal was likely to release law enforcement personnel from pursuing fireworks complaints on public holidays such as the Fourth of July and to allow them to pursue more serious offenses, such as drunk driving offenders.

Chair John Bouchard said he would nevertheless like the town council to research whether the legal definition of “consumer fireworks” includes fireworks devices that include up to 500g or more of explosive material, as indicated by some interpretations of the state regulations, or whether they are limited to 130mg or less of explosive material, as indicated by the federal regulations associated with fireworks use.

At the previous council meeting, councilors had determined to resolve this issue. However, the question remained unanswered prior to the town council’s decision on April 23 to refrain from creating a new town ordinance. Councilor Zach Voisine made the motion to uphold the decision of the planning board.

Comments

"Councilor Priscilla Staples

"Councilor Priscilla Staples voted against the proposal, citing concerns about the safety of children" For someone who doesn't like children, she sure is fast to use them when the mood suits.

common sense

I've seen teenagers in Eagle Lake that have more common sense than some adults when it comes to the use of fireworks.