Burning practices reviewed
The Baldwin City Council will consider amending an ordinance that limits what can and cannot be burned within the city limits at a council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 5. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Baldwin City Public Library.
City officials and council members discussed the changes during a work session Monday night at City Hall.
Banning burning at construction sites and the burning of residential garbage are the two main changes to the current ordinance, said Terry McKinney, city utility director.
"We've eliminated the obnoxious smells from burning garbage," McKinney said. "It's healthier and safer."
City officials decided to review the burn ordinance after several complaints were received about debris being burned at a construction site earlier this year.
"Our first thought was to ban all burning in the city," said McKinney. "But we got to thinking our storm sewers will clog up with leaves. Leaves is what we are looking at more than anything. We are not trying to stop it. We are trying to regulate it."
The burning of leaves and small limbs less than four inches in diameter will be allowed. However, the ordinance, as written, requires residents to notify the city before burning.
"It's not enforceable," said council member Ted Brecheisen Jr. of the requirement to notify the city. "How many people burn on Saturday and Sunday? How are you going to enforce it?"
McKinney said a list of planned weekend burns would be given to the police and fire department. The city plans to make a list of burning guidelines available.
"In a lot of ways, it is to remind a person to be safe," McKinney said of the notification requirement.
The City Council on Tuesday night also will consider an ordinance that regulates fireworks stands and the shooting of fireworks in town.
If the ordinance is approved:
Hours of 10 a.m.-11 p.m. would be set for the shooting of fireworks July 2-4.
The location of a fireworks stand would have to be approved by the city. A $100 permit will be required.
Fireworks stands would have to close by 9 p.m. (instead of 10 p.m.).
Fireworks stands would have to prominently display the time and dates fireworks are allowed to be shot in Baldwin City.
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