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Saratoga County poised to legalize small fireworks

Saratoga County poised to legalize small fireworks

With some minor changes is place, Saratoga County supervisors are expected to vote Tuesday on a loca
Saratoga County poised to legalize small fireworks
Nate Murray, 4, holds a sparkler at a home in Scarborough, Maine, Wednesday, July 4, 2012.
Photographer: The Associated Press

With some minor changes is place, Saratoga County supervisors are expected to vote Tuesday on a local law what would legalize sale of sparklers and other small fireworks in the county.

The proposed law was unanimously approved Wednesday by two county committees, putting it on the agenda for likely adoption at next week’s Board of Supervisors meeting in Ballston Spa.

Supervisors nearly voted on the law in February, but pulled it off the agenda to make some small changes.

“I really have not seen the opposition to it,” said Law and Finance Committee Chairman Arthur “Mo” Wright, R-Hadley.

“I’m seeing a lot more support than opposition. The people in the street are for it.”

The county would be acting under a new state law that took effect Jan. 1 and allows the sale of sparklers and similar items between June 1 and July 5 each year, and again for a week before New Year’s Day. A county’s legislators must pass a local law before sales become legal in that particular county.

Essex County on March 2 became the first county in the state to approve a local law allowing the devices. Other counties are also considering measures, but have yet to act.

In February, supervisors postponed the vote on their lawyer’s recommendation, after new state regulations were issued that required some changes in the law.

The changes aren’t substantial enough for the board to need to hold another public hearing, said County Attorney Stephen Dorsey. That clears the way for a vote at Tuesday’s meeting.

While a number of supervisors have spoken in favor of the law, there is also public opposition.

At a public hearing Feb. 11, organizations representing firefighters and fire chiefs expressed their opposition, saying even small fireworks can be dangerous.

Until the state Legislature passed the sparkler law last year, New York was one of just four states that prohibited the sale of all pyrotechnic devices.

Businesses that want to sell the devices will need to be licensed by the state Office of Fire Prevention and Control.

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