SCARBOROUGH — The Town Council is gearing up for a partial ban on fireworks this summer, preventing anyone south of Route 1 from setting off consumer fireworks after residents complained of the risk of fire and to endangered wildlife.

Councilor Jean-Marie Caterina, who proposed an outright ban at Wednesday’s meeting, said she was responding to residents’ complaints, but she also wanted to see fireworks banned.

“I’ve always thought it’s a fire hazard, no matter where you live,” she said.

All the councilors agreed something needed to be done, but disagreed that a total ban was the answer. Right now, the town only allows fireworks to be used July 3-4, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.

Robert Troccoli, who lives at 22 Forest St. on Higgins Beach, agreed with a total prohibition on fireworks. He said during public comments that the Piper Shores Conservation Area is right behind his house, and stray sparks could be a problem there.

“There’s quite a bit of fuel on the ground, laying and dead trees,” he said.


Other residents worried about the impact on rare birds that nest on the beach, including the endangered piping plover. Many Higgins Beach residents said they have witnessed the birds, startled by fireworks, fleeing their nests and abandoning their chicks.

“The fireworks are alarmingly close to the dwellings when they are set off,” said Jennie Pakradooni, who lives on Higgins Beach.

Councilor John Cloutier worried about enforcing a ban, noting that Old Orchard Beach has a ban, but people still set fireworks off.

“It’s very hard to police,” he said.

Councilor Ken Johnson suggested banning fireworks in parts of town, including the beach, instead of a total ban, and other councilors agreed.

“I think there’s a compromise here,” Councilor Don Hamil said.

The councilors decided that the best way to mark the ban zone would be by streets, and banning fireworks from Route 1 to the ocean would encompass all the town’s beachfront areas.

“That’s certainly a simple way to demarcate,” Town Manager Tom Hall said.

Caterina agreed to retool her proposal with proper language reflecting the discussions and re-present the partial ban at the council’s April 7 meeting.

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