Plum fireworks ordinance would levy $500 fine for violators
By Karen Zapf
Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2012, 3:40 p.m.
Updated: Thursday, June 14, 2012
As residents' thoughts turn to the July 4 holiday, Manager Michael Thomas' phone starts to ring.
"Every year people want permits to shoot off fireworks," Thomas said during the June 7 work session. "It's not illegal to possess fireworks, but it is illegal to set them off."
Thomas gives the same answer to the inquiries - no.
"We can't issue permits for Mr. Smith to shoot off M-80s," said Thomas who added the explosives are illegal and do not fall under permit provisions.
Assistant Manager Greg Bachy said the borough currently has no ordinance regulating fireworks displays.
Plum Council on Monday night authorized the staff to draft and advertise an ordinance for commercial fireworks displays spelling out a $500 fine that will be levied on those who fail to comply with the provisions that permit the shows.
Those provisions are providing proof they are licensed fireworks operators and possessing $1 million insurance to conduct the display.
Under state law, only qualified professionals with permits are authorized to conduct fireworks displays.
The law does not cover sparklers and other novelty devices.
Municipalities in which the display is to take place are responsible for issuing permits.
Thomas said a permit would pertain to fireworks displays including those conducted by Zambelli Fireworks during the Plum Community Festival as well as the Miles for Smiles 5K race, an event to benefit Plum resident Sunny Carney.
In other borough news, Councilman Keith Nowalk, personnel committee chairman, said the top three police officer candidates will be undergoing polygraph tests and background checks.
The three candidates, who were not identified, were the top scorers on the written and oral examinations conducted earlier this year.
Nowalk said if the testing and background checks are completed this month, council could hire in July.
The 2012 budget includes funding to hire two officers.
Council last hired two officers - Timothy Cerula and Nicholas Iachini - in 2010.
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