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Meetings to focus on Chesterville fireworks ordinance

Chesterville residents voted to have the town develop a fireworks ordinance at the 2013 town meeting.

Chesterville residents voted to have the town develop a fireworks ordinance at the 2013 town meeting.

CHESTERVILLE - Town officials hope to utilize a workshop and public hearing to fully develop a fireworks ordinance before sending it to the voters at the next annual town meeting.

Residents voted to have the planning board develop a fireworks ordinance at the 2013 town meeting, after a citizen petition added the question to the warrant. The issue arose after a local woman lost livestock when they became spooked by nearby fireworks.

The draft version of the ordinance would establish setbacks for the use of fireworks, according to Code Enforcement Officer Brenda Medcoff. Fireworks could not be set off within 210 feet of a property line, or 300 feet of a residential structure. Additionally, fireworks could not be set off within 600 feet of livestock, or a building used to house livestock. These setbacks could be waived through written permission from the property owner, Medcoff noted.

"We've gone over the numbers quite a bit," Medcoff said of the setback distances. "We need to spend time on the enforcement end of it."

Enforcing a fireworks ordinance in Chesterville might be more difficult than in other towns that have created ordinances, such as Wilton or Jay, due to the lack of a local police force. The draft ordinance does include penalties, Medcoff said, ranging from written warnings to fines to potentially losing the ability to set fireworks off within town limits.

A workshop will be held on Jan. 23, beginning at 7 p.m., with a public hearing to be held on Jan. 30. Medcoff noted that the planning board hoped to see a strong turnout at both meetings in order to garner public comment and feedback on the ordinance.

Additionally, the board will be considering an amendment to the town's new Water Quality Ordinance. The amendment deals with Section J of the ordinance, clarifying rules governing existing, non-conforming gravel pits.

Both the fireworks ordinance and the amendment to the Water Quality Ordinance would need to be approved by residents at a town meeting.

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9 Responses »

  1. They have had plenty of time to make an ordinance before they was legal I love how these towns are making ordnance after there timeline that they had before they was legal

  2. What a waste of time. The fireworks "problem" that all the alarmers said we would have , have not come about. I live in a small town just like this one, and we have no ordinances, and there are no problems. Some people have too much time on their hands, dreaming up solutions to non existing problems. "livestock spooked" wow,....lets outlaw thunder next.

  3. I personally haven't had any problem with fireworks nearby but I would like to see a limit on how late at night they could be set off....?

  4. Read between the lines on this one. The Code Enforcement Officer needs to juistify her job. Also we need a local Police Force to enforce the Fireworks Ordinance that's needed so badly. Wake up people.

  5. as im a person who works around cattle everyday yes they do have attendance of getting spooked. i agree with not around farms.... would i complain about it probably not. no i dont want to lose any of the animals but instead of telling others about i would go to the person and ask them to warn me next time!!

  6. Most people do not own enough land to have a 210 or 300 foot set back. This would no doubt be the same as banning fireworks in the town all together. There is no possible way to enforce this ordinance, and I do not believe the Sheriff Dept. on State Police would want to get in the middle of it. You can set up fines, and warnings all you want, however how many taxpayer dollars are going to be spent taking them to court? Then what, ten years to collect the fine?? Maybe never? I think the Town must have more pressing issues to deal with.

  7. Every citizen in every town has the right to petition the town to do anything as long as it can be legally carried out. This has not been enacted, it is still in the preliminary stages. When it comes time to vote on this proposed ordinance, go to the town meeting and cast your vote. It is up to the people of the town to decide what decisions are made concerning the town. If you don't take the time to go vote, then please don't take the time to complain about the outcome if it is not what you wanted.

  8. Whatever is decided it won't be enforcable with no local police and a part time civil code enforcement person. Ban them entirely or forget it because the County or State Police aren't going to enforce anything that requires them to measure property lines in the dark.

  9. Did people forget how to have fun? If no ones being hurt by these fireworks why dont you just let it be.