Portland considers fireworks ban

11:11 AM, Aug 11, 2011   |    comments
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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The state legislature passed a bill to legalize fireworks in Maine starting next year, but people may not be able to take advantage of that new law in Portland.

The new state-wide law legalizing fireworks in Maine allows municipalities to create their own laws to regulate them. Tuesday night, the public safety committee voted to move a fireworks ban forward to the full city council for approval. Fire Chief Fred LaMontagne says there are serious safety and fire hazards that would come from using fireworks in an urban setting.

"Despite people's best efforts around the country, accidents happen, and I feel personally, and acting on behalf of the citizens of Portland, that this ban in appropriate so we can minimize the potential exposure to injury and the possibility of fire here in the city of Portland" LaMontagne said.

But Representative Doug Damon, who sponsored the bill that legalizes fireworks in Maine, says the bill had a lot of support from the Portland area, and he believes the city will lose out on a business that could produce revenue and jobs.

"It does require that vendors build a stand-alone building to sell the fireworks from, and they have to hire people to sell them and handle them, and brief the buyers on safety, and hand out brochures and that sort of thing, so this should, in my mind, allow some people to get jobs around the community" Damon said.

The bill's first reading before the city council will be September 7th, with a public hearing and final vote from the council on September 19th.




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