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Fireworks annoy Tamaqua residents

Published July 20. 2018 01:08PM

Tamaqua Police Chief Henry Woods made it clear Tuesday night that anyone caught setting off fireworks in the borough will be prosecuted.

“If we catch you, we will press charges,” Woods said, after a lengthy discussion about recent changes in state laws that allow private citizens to possess “Class C” fireworks, which can include fireworks containing up to 50 mg of explosive materials. The discussion was held as part of Tamaqua Borough Council’s regular monthly meeting.

One resident said that the fireworks started going off on July 1 and have continued since then.

“I am patriotic, and the Fourth of July, I get it,” he said, “but it has been terrible this year.”

The resident asked the borough to consider enacting an ordinance that would prohibit setting off the Class C fireworks within the borough, and limit the use of any fireworks to the July Fourth holiday.

In addition to the loud noises and lights, which are disruptive and can upset those with post-traumatic stress disorder and household pets, residents raised concerns about the fire hazard associated with setting them off in residential areas.

Borough solicitor Michael Greek said that although the borough can’t override the state’s decree that the fireworks can be possessed by residents of the borough, they can prohibit them from being discharged within the borough.

Residents cited similar ordinances that are being considered or enacted in places such as Hazleton and Wilkes-Barre.

Woods agreed that use of the explosives has increased this year and stated that the borough’s police force has been trying to crack down on their use. Woods said that a disorderly conduct charge can be pressed if perpetrators are caught.

The matter of creating an ordinance was referred to the Public Safety Committee for further review.

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