NORWAY — Norway resident Diane Presby met with selectmen Thursday night to submit a written request signed by 204 people asking the board to reconsider a fireworks ban.
Presby said she would like to be able to set off “colorful” but not booming-loud fireworks, particularly for her mother’s birthday, but was unable to because of the recently-enacted ban.
“What a let-down; I couldn’t do fireworks at my home anymore,” Presby said. She said she had hoped to set off fireworks for her 80-year old mother, who wanted to see the color and flash, but not necessarily hear the loud booms, of fireworks on her birthday.
Residents, in a 214 to 156 vote, approved the ban on June 10 but within days selectmen began to receive complaints from people who wanted the ban reversed. The ban does not pertain to commercial vendors, who can get permits to shoot fireworks on special occasions.
According to the fireworks ordinance, anyone using, possessing with the intent to use or selling fireworks can be summoned to court by the town and can face penalties of not less than $200 and not more than $400. Subsequent offenses carry fines of $300 to $600 per violation.
The board told Presby that she will need signatures of 220 registered Norway voters to ensure her question is placed on an upcoming election ballot through a citizen’s petition. Her petition not only did not have the necessary number of signatures, but the board said they believed some were not registered Norway voters, as required for a citizen’s petition.
Town Manager David Holt offered to work with Presby to ensure she presents a petition that can go forward.
Tish Carr said she was pleased the local police are “making a difference” in enforcement of the fireworks ban.
In other news, selectmen unanimously approved a request by the Advertiser Democrat to limit parking in two spaces directly in front of the Advertiser Democrat building at 1 Pikes Hill to 20 minutes.
Selectman Russ Newcomb presented the motion, which was seconded by Selectman Warren Sessions, during a public hearing held on the request. Advertiser Democrat Editor Ann Wood appeared at the meeting to make the request saying there are many elderly patrons who come into the office but are now limited in access because others are parking in the spots for hours.
The problem, she said, began in earnest after a July 16 decision by the Board of Selectmen to remove six parking spaces from the Main Street side of the newspaper building.
That move was necessary to allow the Department of Transportation to issue a traffic flow permit for the Western Maine Health’s $8.2 million medical building under construction on Pikes Hill Road. The building is expected to open in January and increase daily traffic counts downtown by 800 cars. DOT recommended deletion of the spaces to provide better visibility for cars existing Pikes Hill in the now right-turn-only designated road.
The board also approved awarding high bidders Dale and Lisa Allen two tax-acquired properties. One is at 30 Dean Ave., for $5,000, and the second at 293 Crockett Road, for $3,500. Three other properties will now be put out to bid in the board’s attempt to whittle down a list of 22 tax-acquired properties.