Sunapee Selectboard Considers Fireworks Ordinance

If a proposed fireworks ordinance passes, Sunapee residents can expect to pay $20.00 for a permit for Class C (Consumer) fireworks. A Special fireworks permit (Class B) would cost $100.00. Individuals can purchase a total of three permits a year. In addition, it would be illegal for Sunapee resident to possess or store fireworks without a permit.
Other stipulations in the ordinance are:

1. Must be 21 years of age
2. Fireworks must be ignited 50 feet away from any structure, power lines, or woodlands.
3. Owner of the property where fireworks are set off must have fire extinguishment readily available.
4. Fireworks must be discharged between 5-11 pm
5. Fireworks can be discharged only on days when forest fire danger are Class One, Two or Three as determined by NH Division of Forrest and Land-Bureau of Forrest Protection.

Permits for the fireworks to be purchased from the Fire Chief or authorized designee of the Chief.
Permits requirements
1. Proof of property ownership where the fireworks are to be discharged, or a note from the property owner.
2. Receipt of purchase of Fireworks for proof the fireworks are permissible.
3. Applicant acknowledges awareness of the limitations provided in Part III of the ordinance.
4. Town may charge a $20.00 application fee to cover administration costs in the ordinance.
5. The permit would be valid for date issued.

1. The Fire Chief or designee or any police officer from the town, reserve the right to inspect the permitted location at any time during the permit. Failure to comply shall result in immediate revocation of permit.
2. Failure to comply with written ordinance is a written warning for first offense, a fine of $250.00 for second offense and third offense a fine of $500.00 and prohibited from any future permits.

Opponents of the ordinance question:
1. What constitutes a structure?
2. How can you show a fireworks receipt for a permit, since under the ordinance they are illegal to own unless you have a permit?
3. Why does the it say the town may charge a $20.00 administration fee?
4. Why aren’t the current noise and litter ordinances enough?
Still others question the right of the police to inspect the location fearing they would use it for other searches.

The next meeting of the Sunapee Selectboard is Monday, June 4 at 6:30 pm. The draft ordinance is on the Town of Sunapee’s webpage

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