Fireworks in Millsboro: Public, not private with town council’s blessing

 

MILLSBORO – Public, not private, with Millsboro town government’s blessing.

That in a nutshell is the housekeeping code amendment unanimously approved by council April 2 that now allows a person or organization to stage public fireworks with town council’s permission.

The need for code revision surfaced earlier this year after Millsboro Town Manager Sheldon Hudson discovered that “fireworks” were deemed unlawful under town code. There was no specific exception provision spelled out in that code.

Chapter 105-1 of the code stated, “It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge firearms, fireworks, air guns, slingshots, bows and/or crossbows within the corporate limits of the town of Millsboro.”

Last July, the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce with the town’s support staged a fireworks display that drew an audience in the thousands. The show incorporated Cupola Park for a pre-fireworks celebration and nearby Millsboro Pond, where pyrotechnics were launched from a pontoon-type barge.

With the amendment, fireworks are now permitted with approval from the town’s governing body.

Millsboro’s chamber of commerce is planning its second Stars & Stripes public fireworks show on June 30.

Under the code revision, the request for a public fireworks display must be approved by the town at least 45 days in advance of the scheduled date.

Millsboro town solicitor Mary Schrider-Fox said she rewrote the ordinance proposal to include a time requirement for approval.

“I wrote it first without a time period and Sheldon (Hudson) thought you might like to see what it looks like with a time period; to make sure somebody has their act together and they get in here timely enough,” said Ms. Schrider-Fox.

Council favored a set time period.

“I like the 45 days,” said councilman Tim Hodges.

That was echoed by councilmen Ron O’Neal and Larry Gum.

“I think it’s a good start. You can amend it if you have issues,” said Mr. Gum, who noted that any fireworks show would also require approval from the Delaware State Fire Marshal Office.

The application process for public fireworks display, as well as the rules and regulations applicable shall be as established by town council in its sole discretion from time to time.

“This carves out the exception for a public fireworks display,” Ms. Schrider-Fox added. “That would mean I can’t just come in here and say on my private property for my friends I want to have a fireworks display. It has got to be public.”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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