SACO — The Saco Police Department is reminding residents and visitors that the Saco city ordinance bans the use, and possession with intent to use, consumer fireworks in Saco.

The Saco City Council amended the ordinance banning fireworks last year after Police Chief Brad Paul told the council that his department was inundated with fireworks and noise complaints following the Maine Legislature’s relaxing of the longtime ban on the use of consumer fireworks in Maine.

The Police Department intends to seize any illegal fireworks encountered by officers and will cite violators to court, where a fine of up to $400 could be assessed. Repeat violators could pay as much as $600 under the ordinance, which Paul said will be enforced vigorously by officers.

A primary component of the September 2013 amendment makes property owners or others who “own, lease or control” property, including rental units, to be charged with violating the ordinance, which carries a fine of “not less than $200” for a first violation, and “not less than $400” for a second or subsequent violation.

Last year, the police department added patrols to the Seaside Avenue/Camp Ellis area on July 4th during the evening hours and the patrols were “very busy.” In some cases, Paul said, the officers were too busy to issue citations due to the amount of illegal fireworks they were seizing.

Paul said the police department has again added extra patrols for the purpose of fireworks ordinance enforcement, and that he expects it to be very busy on the holiday.

Complaints regarding illegal fireworks use can be directed to the police department dispatch center at 284-4535.

        filed under: