BATH

A city ordinance banning the use, discharge, ignition and sale of consumer fireworks is proving hard to enforce for police and a source of angst for some local residents.

Complaints of fireworks in Bath are not uncommon. Residents filed two such complaints

Monday after one Willow Street resident insisted she heard a shotgun go off a short time earlier.

Bath enacted its ban on Jan. 25, 2012, one of dozens of communities reacting to a new state law legalizing the sale and use of consumer fireworks.

Bath Police Lt. Stanley Cielinski indicated officers are hard-pressed to cite offenders of the city fireworks ordinance.

“We must be able to see them light the fireworks, and we must see them throw it,” he said.

Residents, meanwhile, are convinced they are hearing something else — such as gunshots, which also are illegal in the city.

Willow Street resident Gina Hamilton said Tuesday she is certain she has heard a shotgun go off in her neighborhood several times.

Hamilton reported one such event at 3:42 p.m. Monday — about half an hour before the first fireworks complaint came in from nearby Dummer Street.

“It was definitely a shotgun,” Hamilton said. “I hear it a lot.

“They’ll go out at midnight on New Year’s Eve and blow their gun off,” she said. “They do it all the time.”

Hamilton said she understands that police are in a tough spot.

Hamilton said she will keep calling police when she hears the noise.

Cielinski encouraged her to do just that.

“She should call every time,” Cielinski said. “She should be calling, and we’ll investigate it.”

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¦ FIREWORKS BILL A bill to make fireworks illegal again in Maine is being sent to a legislative committee. The bill is being submitted by Rep. Michel Lajoie, DLewiston. Lajoie says he’s heard from many of his constituents complaining about noise at all hours of the day and night, and that there were about 20 people across the state hurt by fireworks in the past year.



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