Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Wednesday, June 29, 2016 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 141 Issue 26

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4/24/2013 2:00:00 PM
Fireworks Ordinance Proposed For Edgecomb
By Dominik Lobkowicz


A new fireworks ordinance for Edgecomb stemming from complaints last year could bring tighter restrictions on use and sales.

A number of complaints lodged last year about people setting off fireworks close to the 10 p.m. state limit and causing "major irritation" pushed the issue of creating the ordinance, said Selectman Stuart Smith at the board of selectman's meeting April 22.

The proposed ordinance was originally slated for the special town meeting held last November, but was held over because of greater attendance at annual town meeting, according to Selectman Jack Sarmanian.

The ordinance would mimic state statute in its definitions of fireworks and consumer fireworks, and references state statute for the permitting process for fireworks displays, according to the draft warrant.

The sale of consumer fireworks would be restricted to lots having frontage on Route 1.

Use or display of consumer fireworks would not be allowed within 150 feet of any combustible structure, 50 feet of overhead power lines, or 100 feet of any abutter's property without the abutter's permission. Spectators would not be allowed within 100 feet of where the consumer fireworks would be discharged.

Time limits on the use of consumer fireworks would be tighter than state law, and would limit use to between 5 and 10 p.m. except on July 4 and Dec. 31 where use would be limited to 10 a.m. and 12:30 a.m.

State law allows the use of consumer fireworks between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m., except for July 4, Dec. 31, and the weekends immediately before and after those dates when the period is extended to 12:30 a.m. the following day.

Other conditions of the propose ordinance include providing for the cleanup of debris, that debris must not leave the property where fireworks are used, and that anyone using or displaying fireworks or consumer fireworks are used shall not consume or be under the influence of alcohol or be otherwise impaired.

Relating to fire protection, users of fireworks or consumer fireworks would be required to have means, such as fire extinguishers and garden hoses, to extinguish any resulting "spot fires" and have access to 9-1-1 in case of emergency. Use of consumer fireworks would not be allowed if forest fire danger is rated Class 3 or greater.

Because Edgecomb does not have a local law enforcement agency, enforcement of this ordinance would fall to Fire Chief Roy Potter, Selectman Chair Jessica Chubbuck said.

Marine zoning changes
Another ordinance proposed for town meeting is the combination of zones Marine District Areas I and II into a single zone, Marine District.

According to the draft warrant, the area currently zoned Marine District Area II has a one acre minimum lot size, which would then become a two acre minimum under the proposed change.

Tax lien foreclosures
The selectmen discussed but ultimately chose not to include an article on the town meeting warrant that would allow the selectmen to decide whether to waive foreclosure on properties with tax lien mortgages.

Currently, anyone whose property is threatened with foreclosure has to ask the selectman to call a special town meeting in order for the foreclosure to be waived, Town Clerk Claudia Coffin said.

The selectmen said reasons they might wish to waive foreclosure is for poverty issues or if a certain property has cleanup needs or a potential liability to the town.

Even though selectmen's meetings are public, allowing property owners with poverty issues to come before the selectmen to share their plight instead of a special town meeting would allow them more dignity, Chubbuck said.

People with those sorts of issues might be more willing to speak up in that environment, she said.

Sometimes people can find money to pay their taxes when forced with the situation of asking for a special town meeting, Coffin said.

The selectmen decided to include information about the concept in the town report and get feedback to potentially include it at next year's town meeting.

Public hearings are scheduled for the zoning ordinance on Thursday, April 25 at 6:30 p.m., and on the fireworks ordinance on Tuesday, April 30, at 7 p.m., both at the Edgecomb Town Hall. The selectmen will hold a special meeting following the hearing on April 30 to finalize the warrant for town meeting.

Town meeting is scheduled for Saturday, May 11 at 10 a.m. at the Edgecomb Town Hall.



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