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Rumford to consider fireworks moratorium
RUMFORD -- Due to continuing complaints about fireworks, selectmen voted unanimously Thursday to hold a special town meeting at 6 p.m. on Oct. 18 asking voters to support a moratorium on consumer fireworks.
The meeting will take place in Rumford Falls Auditorium prior to the regular board meeting.
Rumford Town Manager Carlo Puiia said that during such a moratorium, which might have to extended, the board would work on drafting an ordinance on fireworks, to be voted on by citizens at the referendum town meeting next June.
The moratorium would involve Class C consumer fireworks. It would not prevent Black Mountain, for example, from having fireworks at one of their events. Further, a business selling fireworks would still be allowed, but such a business would require a permit from the town.
Police Chief Stacy Carter asked for a moratorium because there have been complaints about fireworks on a daily basis, adding that it's only a matter of time until someone gets hurt or is going to cause a fire with the use of them.
Fire Chief Bob Chase said "There's an inherit danger with fireworks. A ban of them is a safer bet. Fireworks also give kids a reason to carry a lighter, which is not a good thing."
Puiia noted that residents have expressed a concern about the safety of their children and pets in areas where fireworks are being used.
Selectman Brad Adley said that initially, he was in favor of allowing consumer fireworks. However, "common sense hasn't prevailed."
In 2011, Maine repealed the fireworks ban and allowed municipalities to propose their own ordinances for fireworks.
In Rumford last June, citizens voted 648-397 in favor to allow personal use of fireworks, but requiring retail outlets to be permitted by the town.
In other business, selectmen awarded Community Energy of Rumford the Town Fuel Bid on 25,000 gallons of No. 2 heating fuel, 40,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and 40,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline.
The board voted to support the Mahoosuc Land Trust's proposed new canoe and kayak launch site in Rumford Center on the Androscoggin River.
Selectmen approved a snowmobile grant application for $69,640 to the State of Maine, appointed Selectmen Chairman Greg Buccina as warden and Selectmen Jeff Sterling and Jeremy Volkernick as deputy wardens for the Nov. 6 election, approved a municipal quitclaim deed for 217 Pine St. and rescheduled the board's Oct. 4 meeting to Oct. 11 because it coincided with the Maine Municipal Convention.
The board approve a parade permit for the annual GRCC Halloween parade, to be held at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 28. It will begin at Franklin Savings Bank and everyone will walk along Congress Street into the GRCC for a costume judging and treats.