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Safe celebration

New fireworks ordinance passed in advance of July 4

Sentinel photo by BROOKE CROUSE
Lewistown Borough Council members discuss the new fireworks ordinance to take effect immediately during Wednesday night’s special meeting at the borough building. Council members asked a few questions regarding enforcement of the new rules governing fireworks usage in the borough.

LEWISTOWN — Lewistown Borough Council members held a special meeting Wednesday evening mainly to discuss and approve a new fireworks ordinance. Council also made decisions regarding a few maintenance issues within the borough.

The borough solicitor said that the fireworks ordinance “generally prohibits discharge of fireworks in the borough.”

This new ordinance states that the definition of consumer fireworks within the ordinance is “Any combustible or explosive composition or any substance or combination of substances which is intended to produce visible or audible effects by combustion, is suitable for use by the public, complies with the construction, performance, composition and labeling requirements promulgated by the Consumer Products Safety Commission in 16 CFR (relating to commercial practices) or any successor regulation and complies with the provisions for “consumer fireworks” as defined in APA 87-1 or any successor standard, the sale possession and use of which shall be permitted throughout this Commonwealth.”

The ordinance continues to read “The term does not include devices as “ground and hand-held sparkling devices,” “novelties” or “toy caps” in APA 87-1 or any successor standard, the sale, possession and use of which shall be permitted at all times throughout this commonwealth.”

The following criteria are included for the enforcement of the ordinance that says “A person may not, at any time, intentionally ignite or discharge:”

• Consumer fireworks on public or private property without the express written permission of the owner or tenant.

• Consumer fireworks or sparkling devices within, or throw consumer fireworks or sparkling devices from, a motor vehicle or building.

• Consumer fireworks or sparkling devices into or at a motor vehicle or building or at another person.

• Consumer fireworks or sparkling devices while the person is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance or another drug.

• Consumer fireworks within 150 feet of an occupied structure.

The ordinance says “only during the first week of July of each year (from July 1 up to and including July 7 of each year) consumer fireworks may be ignited or discharged between the hours of 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., on private property, and under the supervision of an adult. Provided, however, that no person shall be permitted to ignite or discharge consumer fireworks on the streets of the Borough of Lewistown or any property owned by the Borough of Lewistown, including, without limitation, all of the Borough’s parks and public buildings.”

This ordinance takes effect immediately and any additional questions or concerns should be addressed to the Borough of Lewistown.

Council members then discussed the Mifflin County Municipal Authority’s water line replacement project on Valley Street.

Borough Manager Kim Zimmerman stated that the road workers damaged a few sewer and storm lines during the project.

This incident is of no fault of the road workers and their mapping during the process of digging to repair water lines. The borough must pay the cost to repair the lines that workers damaged during the repair job.

Council members unanimously voted to use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to pay $53,869.02 for repairs.

Members also approved:

• Kim Espinoza as the community pool manager in a unanimous “aye” vote.

• The organizers of Lewistown farmer’s market to start services for the summer.

• A street sweeper intern to sweep and enforce parking in the evening.

• A project to slip line approximately 50 feet of the Fourth Street storm drain using ARPA funds.

• The purchase and demolition of a blighted 22 Ridge Road property using repository funds to purchase the property and internal funds to demolish the property.

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