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Whitefield floats fireworks ordinance

by Tara Giles
Sports reporter - Coos County Democrat and Berlin Reporter
October 13, 2021
WHITEFIELD — Select Board members in Whitefield along with the police department have received enough complaints regarding fireworks that an ordinance has been proposed.

Select Board Chair Peter Corey said, "There's been, a lot of complaints that the police department has had to deal with, with respect to fireworks and noise. The fire department and the police department worked together and looked at what other towns did with respect to controlling fireworks within the communities and put together a proposed ordinance."

The proposal was reviewed at a public hearing last week, modifications were made, and a second public hearing is slated to take place.

The draft proposal reads, "It is the intent of the Town to promote an environment free from danger or excessive noise which unnecessarily jeopardizes the health and welfare of the citizens of the Town and degrades the quality of life in this community, without unduly prohibiting, limiting or otherwise regulating the function of certain noise-producing equipment which is not amenable to such controls yet is essential to the economy and quality of life in the community. The purpose of this article is to establish standards for the control of fireworks in the Town and promote specific activities during designated times."

It goes on to state, "In accordance with the statement of intent in the subsection (A) of this section, it shall be unlawful for any person to violate any of the provisions or regulations as set forth in this chapter.This ordinance is adopted pursuant to RSA 160-C:6 and RSA 160-B:10."

General regulations state that any person wishing to discharge NH permissible (consumer) fireworks as defined in RSA 160-C:1 shall obtain a written fireworks permit from the Fire Chief or their designee. A permit shall be obtained before any discharge of permissible fireworks is to occur. There are conditions that would go along with each permit, to include the quantity of fireworks purchased would need to match that of the displayed permit.

Other regulations would call for anyone under the age of 21 be prohibited from possessing or ignited fireworks. All fireworks will be ignited a minimum of fifty feet from any structure, overhead utilities, woodlands, property lines or boundaries. Fireworks may only be lit between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.

The fire chief, their authorized designee or any police officer will enforce the ordinance. A first offense will result in a written warning or revocation of the permit. A second offense will result in a $250 fine and revocation of permit and a third offense will result in a $500 fine with a revocation of permit, and will not be able to request a permit for two years.

A detailed list of regulations can be found on Whitefield's town Web site.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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