Argument Over Fireworks Fizzles

By Ashley Doerzbacher

Published 06/19 2014 11:46PM

Updated 06/19 2014 11:58PM

PATTON BOROUGH, CAMBRIA COUNTY - Fireworks at the cornerstone of almost every community in the United States on the Fourth of July. Here in Pennsylvania, rules for what is and is not allowed vary for each display.
"Each individual township or borough has their own rules and regulations on what they expect from a display company to have or to provide to them to be able to do a display," said Vince Terrizzi, Jr. of Starfire Corportation.
For the past eight years in Patton Borough, the Slovak Club has put on a firework show. But for the first time, this year, they had to follow an ordinance, stating the club putting on the show must provide a one million dollar liability bond.
"They have to protect prop owners and same time allows events to occur. It’s an obligation to comply with state law. They don't have any ability to ignore state law," said Calvin Webb, Patton Borough Council Solicitor.
The ordinance was originally enacted in 2011, but never enforced until this year, when the new mayor was elected.
"After reading the ordinance, I soon found out what it was and I think that part of my job is to enforce those ordinances," said Mayor Gary Ceschini, of Patton Borough.
At Thursday’s meeting, members of the community and Slovak Club came out, looking to change the ordinance.
"People want the fireworks,” said Richard Weakland, of the Patton Slovak Club. “There's nothing but good in it."
After some debate, council changed the ordinance for this yea* to $500, the state's minimum.
"Its just about little kids watching fireworks for 45 minutes there’s nothing better than that. That's what it means," said Weakland.
Mayor Ceschini is happy for the compromise, but believes the ordinance is a little low, and is looking forward to working on it for next year.
And those fireworks will be lit off at the Patton football field starting at dusk on Friday, July 4th.

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