Public hearing set for Harrison voters

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HARRISON – The public will have an opportunity at next week’s public hearing to ask questions and comment on proposed amendments to the Fireworks Ordinance, Dog Ordinance, Road Name & Numbering Ordinance and a plan to share a animal control officer with Bridgton.

The public hearing has been set for Tuesday, September 18 beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the selectmen’s meeting room at the Town Office.

The three ordinances and an Inter-local Agreement will be presented for voter approval on a municipal ballot in November, said Town Clerk Melissa St. John.

The Ordinance amendments include the Fireworks Ordinance, which regulates the use of professional fireworks and prohibits consumer fireworks in order to ensure the safety of the residents of Harrison, property owners in town, and the general public.

It does not pertain to those with a fireworks display permit.

If voters approve the amendments, violators will be fined not less than $250 plus attorney costs for the first offense, or a fine not less than $500 plus attorney costs for any subsequent offenses. Any person who uses consumer fireworks or possesses consumer fireworks with the intent to use in the Town of Harrison in violation of this ordinance will receive a citation.

Additionally, the proposal says in addition to state penalties, an unlicensed  person who sells fireworks and/or consumer fireworks will be subject to a fine of not less than $500 plus attorney costs for the first offense, or a fine not less than $1000 plus attorney costs for any subsequent offenses.
The civil penalty set in accordance with the ordinance will be imposed when citations are issued, according to the proposed amendments. The civil penalties would be cumulative. Appeals would go to the Board of Selectmen whose determination would be final.
There is also an additional wording that defines the seizure and disposal of the fireworks.
The proposed amendments to the 1994 dog ordinance, that was last updated in June 2016, relates to changes made in the state law for dangerous and nuisance dogs. Officials said the town used the word nuisance prior to the state issuing definitions for problem dogs, so the local Ordinance will now have a section for problem dogs.

Voters will also act on a street numbering ordinance which currently has no penalty or enforcement in the ordinance. Those have been added.

The Inter-local Agreement with Bridgton will allow a shared animal control officer to be hired.

If approved, the Interlocal Agreement will allow Harrison and Bridgton to jointly hire an animal control officer who will address issues in both towns.

Selectmen said at a workshop held on September 4 that Harrison will pick up about 34 percent of the costs. The money has already been budgeted.

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