Carpendale looking at ordinance to regulate fireworks
By Ronda Wertman
CARPENDALE -- Weeks of fireworks celebrating Independence Day have put Carpendale residents on edge, prompting regulation of the bright noisemakers.
“You have to compromise with everybody,” said Carpendale mayor Diane Baker, noting that the displays, which began weeks before July 4 and continued weeks later, have put dogs into seizures and have autistic children scared to death.
The first reading of the proposed ordinance began with an explanation from the town saying that they are not against the celebration of certain holidays or events, but that the ordinance is for the safety and security of the citizens.
“We went by the code of West Virginia,” said Baker pertaining to use in the town limits.
The use of sparklers, which make no noise, are permitted at any time, unless otherwise specified by the West Virginian State Fire Marshall’s Office due to dry or unsafe conditions.
All fireworks must be “consumer fireworks,” as the use of homemade or commercial blasting agents is prohibited.
“Some of the stuff they are selling is just short of dynamite,” said Councilman Butch Armentrout.
Under the provisions, fireworks producing sound or an areal blast are only permitted on July 3 and 5 until 10 p.m., July 4 and Dec. 31 until 12 midnight, and on Jan. 1 till 12:30 a.m.
Those wishing to utilize fireworks for other special occasions must request a one-day permit at least one week in advance from the town. Written approval must be granted prior to igniting the pyrotechnics.
The council reminds resident that those choosing to light fireworks are responsible for possible damages that may occur and are subject to civil penalties. Violation of the ordinance is subject to criminal charges.
Earlier this year the council enacted an ordinance that all terrain and utility vehicles (ATV/UTV) must have an annual permit. The stickers for the permits have arrived and can be picked up during regular business hours from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the town hall.
No one under the age of 18 can operate an ATV with a passenger unless they have a minimum level two intermediate driver’s license or its equivalent or are 18 years or older.
Riders under 18 must wear a size-appropriate protective helmet and parents or guardians of a child who is operating or is a passenger on an all-terrain vehicle without a helmet are guilty of a misdemeanor and if convicted are subject to penalties.
Riders under 18 must also complete a vehicle rider safety awareness course offered by the state of West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.