NORWAY — A local woman announced at Thursday evening’s selectmen meeting that she intends to circulate a petition to force a vote banning fireworks displays in town. 

Nancy Hohmann said she will ask residents to ban fireworks outright rather than restrict their use. 

Hohmann, who submitted a letter urging the town to enact a ban, has roughly two months to gather the required number of valid voters’ signatures for the Nov. 4 general election. A town official later clarified that 235 valid signatures are needed.

Hohmann’s announcement follows a decision by selectmen not to take any formal action on the issue at Thursday’s meeting. 

Selectman Russell Newcomb summarized the board’s view that he would prefer a citizens’ referendum in lieu of the board establishing an avenue to hold a vote. 

The decision comes on the heels of a letter, signed by over 45 residents, describing fireworks as a nuisance and requesting that the town ban their use altogether.


Hohmann said Thursday night that the number of residents who had signed the letter had risen to 102. 

One resident at the meeting said two-hour-long fireworks displays had become the norm on some nights. 

“They rattled my house … (they’re) like a stick of dynamite going off.” 

Another woman, who declined to be identified, said fireworks were being set off illegally in roads, and complaints to the Police Department appeared to fizzle into nothing. 

In 2012, the state Legislature legalized fireworks sales, and many towns responded by passing laws banning their use or restricting demonstrations to specific holidays, such as the Fourth of July.

Like neighboring towns, Norway does not have a local ordinance controlling fireworks, though residents must abide by state restrictions on their use. 

Town Manager David Holt said fireworks complaints had declined in recent years, and noted complaints to the Police Department about fireworks were always followed up on unless a prior emergency proved more serious. 

“If voters pass some sort of restriction, we’ll do our best to enforce it,” Holt said.

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