A second round of citizens' views on some type of burning ban for Tama was heard Monday night by the Tama City Council. A council decision on the matter is not expected until August.
As before, the residents present were opposed to an outright ban of burning of yard waste or the use of recreational fire pits or fire rings.
Tama Police Chief Dan Wilkens had brought the issue before the council in June because his department was finding officers in the middle of disputes between neighbors over open burning.
Wilkens has said police do not have a problem enforcing City Code prohibiting burning garbage. He told the council Monday night he had been called for two complaints of alleged burning of garbage since the last council meeting.
In one instance a citation was issued, The second case involved an 86-year-old resident "who had been burning garbage all her life," Wilkens said "I didn't have the heart to issue her a ticket" and said "common sense" dictated not doing so.
The possibility of enacting some type of ban is not related to the current county-wide prohibition for burning because of drought-like conditions, Mayor Dan Zimmerman said.
"What are we supposed to do with all the leaves and brush that fall off the trees?" resident Roger Konicek asked during the public discussion of the issue. Konicek said he had burned yeard waste for 30 years at his residence the 1500 block of Grant Street and never had a complaint.
Jeannie Kriegel told council members it would be a hardship for others and herself to try to haul yard waste to a dumpster provided by the city downtown. She also said the cost of hiring someone to dispose of yard waste which a relative had paid was expensive, especially for the elderly.
David Smith and Mike Haughey also urged the council to not enact a total ban.
Haughey said he recognized police needed to be backed up and suggested one possible solution would be issuance of a "burning permit."
Resident Darrell Brower said the city could consider using a "large vacuum truck" to pick up leaves.
Council member Kenny McAdoo said he recognized the problems a total ban would create, especially for elderly residents while member Crystal Kaufman said she believed the option to burn yeard waste must be maintained at least in the fall and spring.
Mayor Zimmerman said it was never the intent to enact a total ban. He said city officials would continue to weigh the options and expected the council to decide on a course of action at an August meeting.
In other business the council:
approved the appointment of Police Officer Kimberly Schwartz as detective replacing John Carr who recently resigned from the Tama force.
authorized the Tama Fire Department to seek a matching U.S. Forestry Service grant for $3,500 to purchase new radio pagers or other equipment.
approved payment for refinancing Tama-Toledo Family Aquatic Center bonds to Behrens-Tate Consulting Group- $2,200 and Piper-Jaffray - $9,900. The refinancing of the bonds at a lower interest rate will save the city $102,565 over the term for payment of the city's share of the $3.2 million pools.
approved a new rate set-up for industrial wastewater users.
adopted safety policies developed by a new city safety committee.
approved a housing rehabilitation project payment to TJA Construction for 803 State St. at a total cost of $28,525. The city participation cost if 10 percent of the overall cost of the projects being funded by a 90 percent Housing ands Urban Development grant.
approved an outdoor liquor permit for the Tama-Toledo Eagles Club on July 27 and 28.