By margins of 129 and 121 votes respectively, Topsham voters on Tuesday banned the sale and use of consumer fireworks in town.

A new state law legalized the use and sale of consumer fireworks as of Jan. 1. In response, many Maine municipalities enacted local ordinances to regulate the sale and use of fireworks within their confines. Earlier this year, the Board of Selectmen discussed whether to do so in Topsham. Eventually, selectmen decided to place the question before voters in a referendum.

Tuesday’s municipal ballot offered voters three options related to the sale of consumer fireworks and three options related to the use of consumer fireworks in Topsham.

Town Clerk Ruth Lyons said voters Tuesday asked many questions relative to the wording on the ballot, but she could only refer them to the proposed ordinances referenced by the ballot questions and tell voters to read the questions carefully. Questions 1 dealt with the sale of consumer fireworks and Question 2 with the use of consumer fireworks.

An unofficial tally of Topsham’s municipal referendum Tuesday listed 436 votes for Question 1A, which wouldn’t have prohibited or limited the sale of fireworks, and instead would permit the sale of consumer fireworks in accordance with state law.

Question 1B garnered 227 votes in favor of enacting a local ordinance that would establish limits for the sale of consumer fireworks. The ordinance town planners drafted would only allow the sale in the Topsham Fair Mall.

Question 1C pulled in the winning 565 votes from residents desiring to adopt an ordinance prohibiting the sale of consumer fireworks in town.

Question 2A received 419 votes from Topsham residents who don’t want to limit or prohibit the use of fireworks, therefore permitting the use of fireworks in accordance with state law.

Question 2B received 259 votes from residents in favor of enacting an ordinance that would limit the use of consumer fireworks but allow them.

Question 2C garnered 540 votes from those indicating a preference to enact an outright ban on the use of consumer fireworks in town.

Of Topsham’s 6,577 registered voters, 1,248 cast ballots Tuesday, constituting a 19 percent voter turnout.

Town Planner Rich Roedner said this morning that he believes the ordinances to prohibit the sale and use of fireworks, like any other ordinance enacted in town, would take effect as soon as election results are certified.



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