VERNON TOWNSHIP — After listening to complaints from a member of the public regarding fireworks shows held at Whispering Pines Golf Course, the Vernon Township supervisors are considering passing an ordinance regulating commercial fireworks.

Robert Kincaid spoke to the supervisors during their Thursday meeting. Kincaid, who lives on Cotton Road near the golf course, said he has experienced several issues relating to the fireworks shows the golf course holds during its summer concert series.

"The fireworks, we just can't have them happen," he said. "They're just too near my house."

Kincaid said his wife takes care of rescue dogs, several of which have issues with loud noises. One of them hurt its foot after jumping off a bed due to being scared by a firework, and several of them hide while the shows are going on.

Further, Kincaid said the windows of his home rattle due to the blasts and said he has found debris from the fireworks on and around his house.

Kincaid claimed the fireworks were going off around 390 feet from his house.

"That might sound like a long distance, but it doesn't sound very far to me," Supervisor Chairman Don Maloney said.

Township Manager Robert Horvat said Vernon does not currently have an ordinance relating to commercial fireworks. He presented the supervisors with a standardized fireworks ordinance made by the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS).

The ordinance would require a permit for any shows using fireworks within the township. Under the standardized ordinance, sites for fireworks displays must be inspected by a township fire chief, fire code official or other such designated officer before a permit can be issued.

Further, applicants must submit a $1 million bond to the supervisors to pay for any and all damages caused by the display should it occur, and people who violate the ordinance are subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000, imprisonment of no more than 30 days or both.

Supervisor Gary Wagner thanked Kincaid for bringing the issue forward well in advance of the next summer concert series at the golf course to give the supervisors time to work on it. Horvat said he hopes to have the ordinance in place by next spring, and said the township might look into a special event ordinance as well.

Supervisor Gregory Smith was absent from Thursday's meeting.

Sean P. Ray can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at sray@meadvilletribune.com.

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