The Select Board voted to revoke C&C Fireworks permit to operate in town, despite the company surrendering its license on its own.
C&C Fireworks has had a location on Woodstock Avenue for several years. It has another store in Pittsford, which will remain open, according to Chip Greeno, who owns C&C along with his father, Chuck Greeno. Chip said Thursday they will look for another location that’s not in Rutland Town or Rutland City.
The board voted to pull C&C Fireworks’ permit back in May. It did this because it believed a Vermont Supreme Court ruling from late 2020 made it so the town no longer had authority to issue such a permit. The board then amended C&C’s permit in June, making it so that C&C could not sell to anyone who didn’t have a permit from the town they planned to set their fireworks off in.
The board, in July, then accused C&C Fireworks of violating its permit. Second Constable John Paul Faignant, who is also a selectman, claimed the board received a report that fireworks were being sold there to people without permits and that an investigation he conducted bore that out.
Chip Greeno spoke at the meeting and denied breaking any rules.
Select Board Chair Mary Ashcroft said after the hearing closed and before any decisions could be made, the board received a letter from C&C’s attorney saying they had surrendered their permit.
She said she’d take a motion to accept the surrendering of the permit, adding that there would be no reason to reach a decision on whether it had been violated. Selectman Joe Denardo made the motion, seconded by Selectwoman Sharon Russell. Denardo then withdrew the motion after Faignant pointed out that should C&C seek another permit, the town wouldn’t be able to reference these alleged violations.
Chip Greeno said Thursday that he surrendered the permit because he didn’t want to have any further arguments with the town or be seen as combative. He had not been made aware until then that the town revoked the permit despite him surrendering it.
“So I’m a little surprised that they did that, but it’s in line with everything else that they’ve done,” he said.
He said the decision to revoke the permit in May appeared to have been done in haste, and he wasn’t told about it ahead of time. Greeno said he feels as if something soured the board’s feelings towards him and his business, and he was taken aback by what he deemed the aggressiveness of Faignant’s investigation. He also found the investigation to be incomplete.
He said his relationship with the town had been good in years past. He’s donated thousands of dollars to the local fire department and feels slighted by the town not communicating with him as much as it could.
“I don’t understand how it became what it became with Rutland Town,” he said.
He said he hasn’t had these issues in Pittsford. Greeno also pointed out that there are other fireworks sellers in the area, and his leaving Rutland Town won’t solve any issues, it will be just one less business paying taxes.