Civil War cannon blast prompts noise, licensing discussion in Lincoln

Civil War cannon blast prompts noise, licensing discussion in Lincoln

LINCOLN - Lincoln officials may look into the town's noise ordinance as it applies to firearms after residents were reportedly startled not by loud music or voices, but the nighttime boom of a cannon during a Civil War reenactment event at Hearthside House in September.

Town Councilor John Flynn said he was one of the Lincoln residents who heard the blast as it was set off during the event's Civil War Ball at 8:20 p.m.

It took place on Saturday, Sept. 14, the second of three days of "The Road to Richmond" re-enactment that commemorated the Civil War's sesquicentennial by staging the Battle of Mine Run, which took place 150 years ago in Virginia following the Gettysburg campaign.

While calling the Civil War reenactment "a really good event" that has been going on for more than 20 years, he pointed out to fellow town councilors at a meeting on Oct. 22 that the nighttime event, which was new this year, had never come before them for approval of a special events permit, for which such issues of noise and event hours may have been discussed.

Town Administrator T. Joseph Almond maintains, however, that such nonprofit town-sponsored events can be held with only a permit from the Parks and Recreation Department, which grants use of town facilities for events like youth soccer games and concerts in Chase Farm Park.

These permits essentially act as a reservation for the event, Almond explained, while out-of-town and for-profit organizations must be approved by the council.

Friends of Hearthside's "only interest is working for the town," Almond said.

As for the cannon blasts, Almond pointed out that the town's noise ordinance has an exemption for firearms and fireworks licensed by the town between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

The exemption has been made, he said, for gun clubs and town fireworks displays.

"I don't see that anybody violated anything," Almond said. "The council can restrict these things further."

He said the "easiest solution" may be for councilors to revisit the noise ordinance and remove the firearms exemption, should they feel it is necessary.

Comments

Is this guy new in town? They've been doing the night time firing for years.