Lewiston to reconsider fireworks limits

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LEWISTON — The city will take another swing at regulating the sale and use of fireworks.

Councilors will vote Tuesday on one of three plans to regulate privately used fireworks. The first would ban them entirely. The second would break the city into two zones, banning fireworks in Lewiston’s urban downtown but allowing them in the outskirts — either all year or during certain holidays.

“Basically, it’s what we presented to the last council,” City Administrator Ed Barrett said. “At this point, I know there is interest in each of those options. So I think councilors will be eager to hear from people about what they think. We’ll be holding a public hearing, and the council will have the choice of approving one or more of those.”

That meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 21.

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A new state law legalizes the sale and possession of fireworks as of Jan. 1. It does let cities and towns adopt their own limitations, however. Several cities have already done that, including Auburn, Bangor and Portland.

The previous City Council grappled with the issue but didn’t take any action. It considered the zoned plan in November, but passed a complete ban on first reading, with two councilors voting against it.

The matter came up for a second reading two weeks later, but two councilors missed that meeting. Both supported the ban. City rules require at least four votes to approve an ordinance on first or second reading, and without those two positive votes, the measure failed.

“At this point, I think the council is most interested in hearing if people have any views or opinions about handling fireworks,” Barrett said. 

The State Fire Marshal’s Office said that no businesses had applied to sell retail fireworks in Lewiston as of Wednesday.

staylor@sunjournal.com

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