During their meeting on Tuesday, April 30, the Allen Township Board of Supervisors discussed a proposed fireworks ordinance that would place regulations on the use of display and residential fireworks. The ordinance follows the State of Pennsylvania lessening restrictions on residential fireworks last year.
The proposed ordinance would require a $250 permit for display fireworks, as well as a $50,000 bond. Individuals putting on a professional display will also be required to notify the township’s fire chief.
Regulations are also placed on residential fireworks. Since the state has allowed for “higher explosives,” the ordinance would restrict their use to between noon and 10 p.m.
While supervisors agreed that the ordinance is needed to contain noise levels, some worried about the financial burden it would place on residents.
Supervisor Dale Hassler wondered whether the $50,000 bond is necessary. He asked whether the ordinance can simply state that the individual be responsible for any damages incurred.
Solicitor Lincoln B. Treadwell said there is danger to not having the bond, which is put up in favor of the township.
“Who pays for the damage?” he asked, if the individual in charge of the display leaves town.
Hassler also worried that the $250 fee is too steep. He cited the township’s burning permit, which requires no fee.
“I do not think it is right to nail our residents,” he said. “People are nice enough to put a display on [with licensed technicians].”
Supervisor Gary Behler agreed that the fee is “a lot to ask of a private resident.”
Supervisors motioned to continue the hearing during their May 14 meeting, asking the solicitor to explore how much a bond would cost.
In other news, supervisors discussed proposed road work for 2019. Willowbrook Road and Savage Road are both scheduled for work. Borough Manager Ilene Eckhart estimates that the road work will cost about $367,000. Funds will be taken from the township’s liquid fuels.
Willowbrook Road, said Eckhart, has the “highest volume and the poorest shape.”
However, supervisors worried that proposed construction on the county’s Willowbrook bridge would negate the roadwork.
“[I am] afraid to work and bridge construction changes the road,” said Supervisor Larry Oberly. “What is the footprint going to be?”
Before moving forward, the township plans on speaking with the county about its construction plans.