City Council to revisit open burning law
Questions about Mt. Pleasant’s open burning law are back with the warm weather, with the Mt. Pleasant City Council weighing tighter limits on the practice.
Resident Ed Kropa brought the issue up at the city’s April 28 council meeting, noting that half the seats on the council had changed hands since the last time the issue had come up and asking if the new members would be willing to ban burning completely within the city limits.
“This is just the time of year when you want to run your exhaust fans, but then we get a house full of smoke,” he said. “I was taking a walk out the other night, and somebody had a big trash pile, and there was an overstuffed sofa on top, and they lit the whole thing.”
Council member Stan Curtis agreed. “It’s been a pollution problem for the neighborhood I live in, ever since the snow melted off of the square. And in my opinion, it’s an imposition on people that have respiratory problems, and we just should not allow burning in the city.”
But council member Matt Crull said the types of burning that cause trouble are already banned. “Our current ordinance has got it banned; it’s not enforced,” he said. “And when you call it in, as I experienced, the dispatcher argues with you that it’s not in the ordinance, written that way.”
Police chief Terry Sammons noted that the dispatcher does not work for the city, and said police do investigate whenever they are called.
Curtis said the real problem was with the code itself, which allows residents to burn leaves, garden debris, tree and bush trimmings less than two inches across, so long as the fire is not within 25 feet of any building and is supervised by an adult with a charged water hose. The ordinance also states that burning must be “in a safe manner and without smoke being blown beyond the property where the burning is being done.”
For more, see our May 3 print edition.