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Martinsburg Adopts Fireworks Ordinance - In Effect for July 4


Martinsburg Borough Council President Connie S. Lamborn swears in the town's new mayor, Richard Brantner Sr., on Monday night, June 24. Brantner Sr. replaces Rex L. Hartman, who resigned earlier this month because of his relocation outside the area.

Martinsburg Borough residents who discharge consumer fireworks will now have to abide by a new ordinance.

In order to protect life and property, Martinsburg Borough Council on Monday night, June 24, adopted an ordinance regulating the display and discharge of consumer fireworks within the borough. The ordinance, which is in effect immediately, is in conformity with state law, specifically the Pennsylvania Fireworks Law.

The ordinance says the discharge of consumer fireworks shall be permitted during the following holidays which shall encompass the 24-hour period prior to and immediately after the holidays: Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Veterans Day. Consumer fireworks may be set off only between the hours of 4 and 10 p.m.

Consumer fireworks cannot be ignited or discharged on a public or private property without the express permission of the property owner. Consumer fireworks cannot be discharged from or within a motor vehicle or building, and they cannot be discharged toward a motor vehicle or building.

According to the ordinance, consumer fireworks cannot be discharged within 150 feet of an occupied structure. A person under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance or another drug will not be permitted to discharge consumer fireworks. Also, no one under the age of 18 will be permitted to discharge consumer fireworks.

According to the ordinance, consumer-grade fireworks are defined as firecrackers, Roman Candles, bottle rockets and similar fireworks that contain a maximum of 50 milligrams of explosive material.

Display Fireworks

The discharge of display fireworks shall be by permit only. Permits for display fireworks may be granted upon application to the code officer – designated by council to carry out duties under the ordinance – after approval of the Martinsburg fire chief and filing of a bond and/or certificate of insurance by the applicants. No permits will be issued to a person younger than 21 years of age.

Display fireworks, as classified in the ordinance, include salutes that contain more than 2 grains or 130 milligrams of explosive material, and professional-grade aerial shells containing more than 60 grams of pyrotechnic compositions.

The provisions of the ordinance shall be enforced by the public officers – any police officer, constable or code enforcement officer – designated by the borough.

Any violation of the ordinance may be a cause for a citation to be issued to the violator, with a fine of no less than $100 and no more than $600. Each day a violation continues or is permitted to continue may constitute a separate offense for which a separate fine may be imposed, the ordinance reads.

New Mayor

Also on Monday night, council swore in a new mayor, one who is recognizable to the citizens of the borough.

Richard A. Brantner Sr. was sworn in by council President Connie S. Lamborn to replace Rex L. Hartman, who resigned on June 3 because of his move to another municipality. Brantner Sr. will serve as the town's elected head through the remainder of the year.

In the November election, the Blair County Republican Committee will nominate a candidate to appear on the ballot. Council plans to recommend to the committee that Brantner Sr.'s name appear on the ballot. The Blair County Democratic Committee will have the option of placing a Democrat on the November ballot.

Brantner Sr. served as Martinsburg's police chief for 26 years, retiring on March 1, 2002.

Council Solicitor Matt Gieg of Gieg Law Offices of Altoona said there is no conflict of interest with Brantner Sr. serving as mayor and his son Richard A. Brantner Jr. serving as borough manager. The duties of the mayor, who does not oversee the borough manager, include preserving order in the borough, enforcing the ordinances and regulations and removing nuisances.


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