AUBURN — Councilors had no problem making a citywide ban on fireworks official Monday night.
They voted 6-0 on second reading to accept the ban, despite the urging of one resident who said he'd like to open a fireworks stand.
"Fireworks are used to celebrate freedom, so please allow us to celebrate our freedom that our Legislature has bestowed upon us and open the door for a potential retail establishment," Adam Smith of Garfield Road said.
A new state law, scheduled to take effect in January, legalizes the sale and possession of commercial fireworks by private citizens. It does let cities and towns adopt their own limitations, however.
The Auburn ordinance bans the sale and use of fireworks within the city limits. A similar ban in Lewiston failed last month.
Smith told councilors that fireworks had gotten better and been made safer since he was a child growing up. He remembered shooting fireworks off as a kid.
"And I rode a bike without a helmet, I played games like lawn darts and I survived all of that," he said.
Smith asked councilors to adopt a zoned approach, allowing fireworks use and sale in some parts of the city.
But former Auburn Fire Department inspector Gary Simard, of 157 Cook St., said the council's ban was a good thing. He listed several fires or emergencies he covered in his time as an Auburn firefighter, many involving children.
"Given my experiences, I highly favor a change like this," Simard said.
Councilors approved the fireworks prohibition on first reading at their Nov. 29 meeting by a vote of 5-1, with Ward 4 councilor David Young voting against it and Ward 1 Councilor Mike Farrell absent from the meeting.
Farrell, an opponent of fireworks regulations when it was first discussed during a council workshop meeting, didn't attend Monday's meeting.
Young said he changed his vote Monday because he heard from a few of his constituents and most supported the ban.
"Besides, it is something I would like to revisit at a later date," Young said. "If I'm on the prevailing side of the vote, that means I can be the one to bring it up again and I thought that was an option worth preserving."