The Gettysburg Borough Council has denied a request from the Gettysburg Area Merchants Association (GARMA) to allow them to provide New Year’s Eve fireworks at the Gettysburg rec park.
The Gettysburg Area Recreational Authority (GARA), which leases the park from the borough, had already indicated they were not willing to host the fireworks due to safety and logistical concerns.
GARMA said the fireworks would help the borough end the year with a bang and provide some semblance of normalcy.
“GARA is in a lease with borough. Their role does have a role to play here. We can’t summarily overrule them,” said Borough Manager Charles Gable.
“I don’t like the idea of getting between GARA and how they use the property,” said council member Wes Heyser.
“We do have to be sensitive to GARA’s wishes,” said council member Matt Moon.
As winter comes on, the borough is requiring that all tent structures in the borough have permits. Director of Planning, Zoning, and Code Enforcement Carly Marshall said tent structures that are over 200 square feet in area and which allow public access must be either inspected and permitted or removed.
Marshall said there is no “tent tax” in the borough but that tents that are up for an extended period of time, just like any other borough structure, are subject to Uniform Construction Code requirements.
Council members agreed it was important to monitor and inspect the tents, noting that adjacent businesses could be damaged through fires and that heavy shows could cause them to collapse.
The borough said inspections and permitting would probably run about $200 and that the large tents on the Gettysburg College campus were conforming to the standards.
“When we let our guard down, bad things happen,” said Borough President Jake Schindel.
The borough also considered revisions to its sign ordinance, including sign boards, murals, and banners.