Saturday, October 1, 2022

Warren County bans sale & use of fireworks

By Cathy DeDe, Chronicle Managing Editor

At its final Board meeting of the year on December 17, Warren County’s Supervisors voted to repeal the 2016 law allowing sale and personal use of so-called “sparking devices.”

At a public hearing prior to the meeting, one purveyor of the devices — typically sold from tents in the weeks prior to the Fourth of July — said, “People will just go to other counties” to buy and then use them illegally.

But Gary Thornquist, General Manager of the Lake George RV Park, said the fireworks amount to “cruelty to animals,” for the trouble they cause to pets. He said he has had considerable trouble with unruly guests using fireworks, even though they are banned at the RV park, and that local sales confuse the matter.

“It would be different if we didn’t have fireworks [shows] every day around here, in Lake George and Bolton and at the Great Escape,” Mr. Thornquist added.

Supervisor Craig Leggett of Chestertown voted against the repeal. He called it “a hollow law” and said the issue is more with misuse of legal fireworks and the use of illegal devices, rather than the local sale of the fireworks themselves.

There was talk of amending the resolution or returning it to committee, to consider a “compromise position,” allowing sales but limiting use only to the days around the Fourth of July.

The Board voted, finally, to do as Chairperson Rachel Seeber suggested, and passed this resolution as is.

“We can consider other issues at a later date,” Ms. Seeber said — rather than hold the action up with changes that might require a lengthy process including additional public hearings.

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