Agenda Items (From the Council Packet):
1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation--(Councilor Bonebrake)
3. Roll Call--B. Fitzpatrick
4. Consent Agenda
a. Minutes of May 10, 2011 Regular Session--B. Fitzpatrick, Motion/Approve
5. Citizens' Participation
(Citizens may address the Council on items not on the Agenda. Council may not be able to provide an immediate answer or response, but will direct staff to follow-up within three days on any question raised. Out of respect to the Council and others in attendance, please limit your comment to three (3) minutes. Please state your name and address for the record.)
6. Proclamation for Poppy Day--Mayor Dorrah, Read
7. Ordinance No. 3302 Bum Permit--J. Price, Motion/Approve
Possible 1st Reading
8. Ordinance No. 3303 Create Parks and Recreation Board--M. Kee, Motion/Approve
Possible 3rd Reading
9. Award of the 2011 Thin Overlay Paving Bid--M. Owen, Motion/Approve
10. Resolution No. 36592010-2011 Budget Changes--J. Dexter, Motion/Approve
11. Rules and Procedures of the Baker City Council--M. Kee, Discussion/
12. City Manager/Department Head Comments
13. Council Comments
Burning Ordinance (No. 3302)
The city has made a few changes to the new burning ordinance (No. 3302) they introduced about a month ago. One positive change, from my perspective, is that they changed the hours allowed for burning to between 7 AM and Dusk. The ordinance introduced a month ago had restricted burning to between 7 AM and 4 PM, when many people are working, at least on week days.
You can find the revised burning ordinance in the May 24 Council Packet that was posted this morning.
They are still restricting what can be burned in burn barrels. The new ordinance will change the things that are allowed to be burned in burn barrels by eliminating yard debris and wood, etc., and allowing only paper. There are some problems for citizens with this approach, as discussed below, the main one being that those who don't have the space required for open burning will no longer be able to burn yard debris in their burn barrels. There are other problems as well, and I will point them out in a post following tomorrow night's meeting, as I have very limited time right now.
I sent the following e-mail regarding the revised burning ordinance to the Council and City Manager today:
Monday, May 23, 2011
Dear Councilors and City Manager:
Mike posted the Council Packet to the city website this morning (Thanks Mike) and I was just now able to read it over for the first time.
A few questions/comments:
1. The Purpose states that:
This ordinance shall promote the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the City of Baker City due to the air pollution and fire hazards caused by residential burning involving burn barrels, open burning and the burning of refuse.
As has been pointed out, air quality in Baker City has been improving for several years. The new ordinance will change the things that are allowed to be burned in burn barrels by eliminating yard debris and wood, etc. While these burnable items are allowed in legal open burning by the ordinance, many residents in Baker City's higher density neighborhoods will no longer be able to burn them due to the 25 foot radius required for open burning. They won't have the room required, so even though they might have the radius allowed for using burn barrels, they will no longer be able to use them for their most common purpose--the burning of yard debris, wood and cuttings.
1a. Is it your unstated purpose to make burn barrels useless for their primary use at many city residences and thus eliminate the burning of yard debris, wood and cuttings at these residences (due to the lack of space for open burning?
1b. Do you have any data from local studies that would indicate periodic "residential burning involving burn barrels, open burning and the burning of refuse" is significantly detrimental to the "public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the City of Baker City due to the air pollution and fire hazards caused by" this type of burning as it is practiced in Baker City? If there were some objective data available, it could be balanced against the harm that will be caused to the users of burn barrels by this ordinance.
2. When the ordinance refers to "small commercial fire pits and grills," is it referring to items commercially available for consumers at retail outlets, or to pits and grills used at commercial establishments, or both?
3. SECTION 3. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS, states under E., that "Only untreated wood, paper products and yard debris are permitted to be burned."
SECTION 5. OPEN PILE BURNING REQUIREMENTS, states under A., that "Open burn piles shall only contain dry leaves, wood, or paper."
One might assume that instead of just dry leaves, that the ordinance intended to allow the normal practice of allowing other yard debris, such as weeds and plant stems like old raspberry canes as well. Is the latter the correct reading and intent?
That's all for now. Thanks for a reply.
My previous post on this issue can be found at:
MONDAY, MAY 9, 2011
War on the Poor Escalates--City Ordinance Would Add Restrictions to Burn Barrels (There is a New Burn Fee Too!)
More after tomorrow night's meeting.