KENNEBUNK — Changes could be coming to Kennebunk’s fireworks ordinance — pending the outcome of a June 2022 town wide vote.

The Select Board on Oct. 12 voted to send potential amendments to the Annual Town Meeting following a public hearing that drew a couple of questions and little comment from the public.

As proposed, the amendments to the consumer fireworks ordinance expands the distance from buildings that fireworks may be discharged, their duration, and permit requirements.

The amendments would mean those securing a permit to set off fireworks would have to discharge them at least 75 feet from a building, rather than the 20 feet currently outlined in the ordinance. Applications must include a sketch or aerial photo (which could come from online sources) of the property where the fireworks would be discharged. Displays would not be allowed to exceed 30 consecutive minutes in a single day — and no more than one permit per day would be issued for any property.

Select Board member Kortney Nedeau, a fireworks buff, said she would rather be closer to her own house rather than risk her neighbor’s property — if she is 75 feet from her house, she is closer to the neighbors, she said.

Select Board Shiloh Schulte, who was part of the committee that looked at changes to the ordinance, said the point of the 75 feet was to avert a dangerous situation where debris could land on another person’s property or on their roof.

Resident Ed Karytko agreed that debris blowing on the property of others can be an issue.

Schulte said the 75 feet was meant to address that potential situation,  but noted some fireworks’ reach is beyond that number. He said debris landing on a property could constitute littering.

Resident Dan Sayre said the proposed 75 feet from buildings rule “is there to protect all of us.”

“The point is not to put firefighters at risk and incur a charge … for reckless discharge of fireworks,” said Sayre.

Sayre said he was speaking in favor of the amendments, “and on behalf of the dogs of Kennebunk. Anything that tightens up the volume is greatly appreciated.”

Select Board member Sally Carpenter said the ordinance does not address proximity to the woods or other areas that could catch fire and asked if that was a concern.

Fire Chief Jeff Rowe said it is, and pointed out that a fireworks discharge permit is tied to the forest fire danger class of the day — which means they are available only on Class 1 or 2 days, as are campfires.

Consumer fireworks are allowed to be discharged in Kennebunk, by permit, on July 4 and Dec. 31 between 9 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. the following day; and to commemorate special occasions no more than two days per calendar year. The fireworks must be discharged on an individual’s property or with written permission on the property of another. All require permits.

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