Burn pit violations could cause closure

Staff writer

Violations at the city burn pit are on the increase, and could cause the pit to close, the city’s public works director told city council members Monday.

“I don’t know why people are all of a sudden dumping so much lumber down there,” works directory Ronnie Harms said. “We have had to pull out several loads from the burn pile and take them to our bigger dumpsters at the city shop.”

Lumber is one of several items not allowed in the pit, which is intended for yard waste.

Harms said that while it is irritating to for city employees to have to move illegal materials, the biggest problem is being caught in violation of state regulations when Kansas Department of Health and Environment inspects it.

“We are not notified in advance of inspections,” he said. “If they find our residents illegally dumping construction and demolition material, they will cancel our burn pit authorization, and we won’t have it anymore.”

Harms said residents would then be fully responsible for getting rid of bags of leaves, lawn trimmings, limbs that come down during storms, and other yard or garden waste.

“Waste Connections won’t haul it off, and the city won’t have a place to go with it, so disposal is going to be the responsibility of our residents,” he said.

City clerk Stephanie Lago stated anyone caught in the act of dumping illegal items would be ticketed and fined.

“Having a burn pit is a privilege KDHE extends to small communities with limited resources,” Lago said. “But there are rules to follow.”

In other business, council members approved conference participation for court clerk Jylle Wilson in September and finalized an updated manager’s contract for Peabody Swimming Pool manager Mackenzie Young.

Last modified July 28, 2016

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