GARDINER — Councilors want as many people as possible to attend Wednesday’s public hearing to discuss an ordinance that would prohibit the sale and use of fireworks.

The hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. at City Hall. The council was set to approve a final reading of the ordinance last December, which is in response to the state lifting the ban on selling and using consumer fireworks.

City Manager Scott Morelli said at that meeting the council enacted a six-month moratorium, which ends June 30, on the sale and use of fireworks to give the city time to review the issue.

That move came after Steve Marson, owner of Central Maine Pyrotechnics, told the council that he believed hearings leading up to the December final reading had not been well publicized by the city and there were small turnouts. Marson has opened three fireworks stores — in Manchester, Winslow and Edgecomb. Stores in Ellsworth and Presque Isle are slated to open this month.

Marson said that more fireworks proponents would show up to voice support if they knew about a public hearing on the proposed ban.

Marson, who has been handling fireworks for almost 40 years, said people should have the right to use fireworks if they do it safely.

He opened the state’s first retail fireworks store in Manchester in February, Pyro City on U.S. Route 202.

Morelli said the council will hold its second reading of the ordinance on Wednesday and hopes that residents will attend to express their support or opposition. Morelli said information about the public hearing is posted on city’s website and other social media outlets and through an advertisement.

“We’re putting up some flyers around town, and giving Mr. Marson a heads up so that he can alert people he knows about the hearing,” he said.

Morelli said councilors thought about sending the issue to a referendum vote during the general election in November, but settled on another public hearing instead.

The ordinance would prohibit the use and retail sale of fireworks, but distribution still would be allowed as long as it is in compliance with state and federal laws and city zoning ordinances.

Fireworks displays could continue as long as the company putting on the display has a permit from the state.

With summer approaching — and the Fourth of July a month away — councilors want to see the rule enacted, Morelli said.

Mechele Cooper — 621-5663; [email protected]