Portland, Scarborough and Old Orchard Beach are among communities actively considering local ordinances regulating fireworks.

A state law legalizing sales and use of previously illegal fireworks will take effect Jan. 1. But the law allows towns and cities to make their own rules.

The Scarborough Town Council discussed the sale and use of fireworks Wednesday night. Town Manager Tom Hall said the discussion preceded an Ordinance Committee meeting set for 4:30 p.m. Monday.

“There doesn’t appear to be an interest in outright banning either use or sale,” Hall said.

But based on Wednesday night’s discussion, he said, there does appear to be interest in regulating fireworks.

Hall said the council focused its discussion on noise complaints that fireworks could draw, and safety concerns for places that sell fireworks.

Scarborough has had at least three inquiries from businesses that are interested in selling fireworks, Hall said.

The town now requires buildings larger than 6,000 square feet to be equipped with sprinkler systems. Hall anticipates that councilors may require sprinkler systems for all buildings where fireworks are sold.

Hall is unsure what approach the council will take to address concerns about noise.

Portland officials are considering a ban on sales and use of fireworks, said spokeswoman Nicole Clegg. The council had a first reading Wednesday night for a proposal that includes fines for anyone who sells, possesses or uses fireworks in the city.

Clegg said fines would range from $200 to $400 for people who possess or use fireworks, and $500 for selling fireworks.

A second reading of the ordinance is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 19. Clegg said public comment will be taken at that meeting, and then the council could decide to accept the ordinance.

A discussion of fireworks sales and use is also on the agenda for the Old Orchard Beach Town Council. The council workshop is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Staff Writer Emma Bouthillette can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:

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