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Tama bans most outdoor burning

City Council to allow periods in spring, fall

September 8, 2012
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

There will be no burning of yard waste in Tama. There will be exceptions for spring and fall clean up weeks which times will be designated by the Tama City Council.

That was the council's decision on a 3-0 vote Monday night. The ban goes into effect upon official publication next week in The News-Herald.

Residents can continue to enjoy what have been dubbed "recreational fires." Those resembling campfires which are set in burn pots of fire rings will still be legal.

Article Photos

It was already illegal to burn garbage in the city limits and that prohibition continues.

Weighing citizen comments from three public hearings over the summer mixed with a good deal of council discussion, members Steve Baier, Crystal Kaufman and Mike Carnahan voted to enact the ban. Members Robert Tyynismaa and Kenny McAdoo were absent.

Yard Waste

Disposal Options

To dispose of yard waste during other periods residents can haul it to the brush city disposal site located southwest of Cherry Lake.

During weekdays, a gate key to the site must be obtained at the City Clerk's office in the Tama Civic Center, 305 Siegel. On Saturday and Sundays the gate to the site is being left unlocked during daylight hours on a trial basis.

Mayor Dan Zimmerman said residents using the city facility must follow rules and not dump material which is prohibited.

A dumpster strictly for deposit of grass and leaves is maintained north of the Civic Center near the recycling bin area.

Consideration of the ban was prompted by complaints and the city police force reportedly caught in the middle.

Chief Dan Wilkens said officers were called upon to intervene between neighbor disputes over the right to burn and the resulting smoke.

Tama City Attorney Dan Rathen and Wilkens agreed Monday night the enforcement of the new law would involve some officer discretion and "simple common sense."

The amended ordinance does provide for allowing the burning of tree limbs if a burn pile is 1/4 of a mile or more away from an adjacent home.

Resident LeAnn Kriegel spoke during the public hearing and said her property which fronts East 13th Street has two acres of trees and burning of limbs was important to maintaining it.

Mayor Zimmerman said he believed a burn pile location at the Tama-Toledo Country Club would qualify for being in the set back distance and allow for continued burning of tree limbs.

Also allowed are practice burns by the fire department or for industry fire training and certain agricultural structures if the fires meet Iowa Department of Natural Resource regulations.

In other business Monday the council:

approved purchase of a new accounting system for the city clerk's office at a cost of $24,400 from Data Technologies, Inc. The computer software will replace a 12-year-old one which is no longer supported by the developer.

asked for a report on "slip lining" portions of the city sanitary sewer line system while it considers a $2 million project which would include application for a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant. John Lloyd, superintendent of public works, is to gather data.

approved paying Mark Patterson, part-time reserve police officer, at a rate of $14 hourly.

approved "mud jacking" a portion of street west of 9th and Seymour streets on 9th and near 11th and Washington streets to correct settling of the pavement in the areas.

approved sale of a city-owned lot in the Indian Hills Addition to the Moore Family Trust for $5,000.

approved renewal of a beer sales permit for Jiffy South.



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