Paris board hears fireworks complaints

PARIS — Chief David Verrier told selectmen Monday that the Paris police department has received 30 complaints about fireworks since May. Most were before 10 p.m., and weren't illegal.

Verrier said the calls were an extra load on his officers. “We've been responding to a lot of calls for service. We don't need 30 more complaints.”

Some complaints were from fireworks shot in cemeteries and in the street. When officers arrived, nobody was around. He said there have been no injuries reported, and no summonses written.

He said he hoped there would be fewer calls now that the Fourth of July has passed. When asked if he thought there should be an ordinance, Verrier said it would be a good idea, especially in the downtown area. It's only a matter of time before someone is injured, he said.

However, he praised Havoc Fireworks, the new store on Main Street. “I think they're doing extremely well,” he said. Verrier said he didn't burden a successful Paris business. “We don't have a lot of businesses in town.”

“We don't want to have a business that's thriving move out of town.”

Verrier said the sound of explosions have been particularly disruptive to veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “It was concerning to them that they had to listen to these fireworks going off,” he said. “It causes stress on them.”

The effects on animals are another concern. Rick and Marcia Campbell Cummings said the explosions have caused their horses to panic.

Marcia Cummings said she and her husband have heard fireworks in the middle of the night for the last six nights. “I felt like I was in a war zone,” she said.

Franca Ainsworth said her neighbors' fireworks sounds like a cannon. She said she's concerned about pine needles in her yard catching fire, and recommended altering the town's noise ordinance to govern fireworks use.

Anne Stanley told the board that on July 3, someone in a passing truck on her road had hurled a “small but noisy” bundle of firecrackers in front of her house.

Chairman Sam Elliot said the board would hold a public hearing on the issue soon. “This is the first year. We need to get a handle on it.” He said the town should wait and see if fireworks use dies off now that the Fourth of July has passed.

“It's funny, it's Independence Day, and we're talking about limiting people's ability to do things,” Elliot said.

Outside the meeting, Rick Cummings said the noise over at his house had caused his horses to stampede. He was concerned his stampeding horses could break through a gate and escape. He said his fencing is strong, but horses can be powerful when they're scared.

“We don't want to take somebody's fun away, but let's find a safe place to use these,” he said.

treaves@sunjournal.com

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Comments

FRANK EARLEY's picture

I feel one thing is abundantly clear......

Fireworks have been made legal for sale and use, albeit restricted in some areas. Given human nature, they will be used illegally, they will be used in areas where others may be bothered, animals startled, and unfortunately bothering some veterans. I feel from what I've been reading in all areas of the state, there are just about as many people who dislike fireworks as like them. I don't particularly like them, however I feel there going to be around, and I know there is nothing I can do about it. I even live in a city where there banned outright.
If every person who hears a rocket or explosive go off, calls the police or fire department, A huge drain on the resources will occur. If you hear the boom, right over your house, that doesn't mean it was lit in your back yard. Sound as well as fireworks can travel due to wind and weather conditions. Calling the police might make you feel good, but try to imagine the poor cop trying to locate the source of the boom two hundred feet in the air.
Lets face it, as long as there sold legally, they will be used, like it or not. Sending the police on wild goose chases, is just a waste of their time and your tax dollars.....

Robert McQueeney's picture

Always talking about safety

It's only a matter of time before someone is injured, he said.

Puh-leeeze! It's always about safety to try to get something pushed thru. Next thing you know, we won't be able to walk on a sidewalk due the cracks in it that we can trip over.

Of course there is some possibility that someone can get hurt. Instead of banning it, how about promoting safe use and reading the instructions on the boxes of fireworks?

Beyond that, there are many valid concerns such as frightening animals and firing them off on public land and cemeteries, etc.... Let's focus on those very real concerns. Somebody is gonna get hurt. I guess we should all shutter ourselves inside and never see the light of day to avoid ever getting hurt doing something.

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