NORWAY — Selectmen said Thursday night they have received complaints about the ban on consumer fireworks approved at last week’s annual town election.

The ban was effective June 10 and does not pertain to commercial vendors who have permits to shoot fireworks on special occasions.

Earlier this year, Nancy Hohmann of 420 Crockett Ridge Road presented the board with the petition to ban fireworks, leading to the townwide vote.

Selectman Russ Newcomb said at Thursday’s board meeting that he is now hearing that numerous efforts may be underway to bring the fireworks ban question to a vote again.

“A number of people are telling me they will petition to change the fireworks ban back,” Newcomb said.

“The right to petition is pretty sacred,” Town Manager David Holt said. 

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He suggested that the town attorney could look at placing restrictions on the number of times the same petition could be brought up for a vote.

Fire Chief Dennis Yates told selectmen that one man said he purchased $3,000 worth of fireworks only to be told he could not shoot them off in town.

Selectman Bruce Cook also noted that some people, particularly on Lake Pennesseewassee where fireworks are common, could be willing to pay the fine for shooting them off.

According to the Norway 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.

Also Thursday, selectmen discussed the $110,667 debt to the town by the Norway Opera House Corp. President Dennis Gray told the board that he personally — and, he believes, others on the board — feel the debt should be paid but making that happen will be difficult.

With $75,000 to $80,000 left on a loan from the Norway Savings Bank and rental money from the first-floor storefronts going into maintenance of the Main Street edifice, the only area left to raise money is a campaign.

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Fundraising would be difficult, officials agreed.

Holt suggested the town could place a lien on the property in case the building is sold in the future. He has asked for a response from the Norway Opera House Corp. by Sept. 1.

In other business, Wastewater Pollution Control Superintendent Shawn Brown presented the board with his $505,557 budget, which was approved by the selectmen. The budget is 1.5 percent higher than last year, largely due to a slight increase in salaries, health insurance and workers’ compensation.

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