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A burning issue in Walnut

Published: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 1:54 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 1:59 p.m. CDT

WALNUT — At its meeting on Monday evening, the Walnut Village Board discussed the possibility of changing the burn ordinance for the village.

Acting board President Dennis Grobe proposed to the board the current burn ordinance for the village be amended to eliminate the burning of paper and cardboard. Grobe said he had been approached by some village residents regarding the burning of these materials. These residents felt the current burning of paper and cardboard is abused by some village residents.

Currently burning of these items is allowed on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Grobe suggested if the board did not want to eliminate the burning of these items, perhaps the number of days allowed be reduced by half.

Trustee Lee Sarver opposed the removal of the paper and cardboard portion of the ordinance for several reasons. First, Sarver said the addition of paper and cardboard to residential garbage could increase the cost of garbage removal for the village. The current garbage contractor would pass along this increased cost for additional amounts to village residents.

Secondly, Sarver said he, along with many others, are not comfortable with disposing of personal information in the general garbage pickup. He feels that being allowed to burn those items is more secure than disposing in a landfill.

Sarver finally stated a change in the current ordinance would incur expenses to the village. And, if the current ordinance were enforced, there would be no need to incur those expenses.

After discussion by the entire board, it was decided to retain the current ordinance and to be diligent in adhering to the ordinance. If a village resident is burning unacceptable items such as plastic bottles, that resident will first receive a letter from the village with a copy of the ordinance. If the resident continues to burn these items, police action will be taken.

In other business,

• Grobe said he had discussed with Village Attorney Rob LeSage the proposed ATV ordinance for the village. LeSage had reviewed the samples of ordinances enacted by other area villages, and he will be providing a draft of a proposed ordinance for Walnut by the next board meeting on May 5.

• Village Superintendent Carl Minks presented to the board a bid he had received from Pavement Maintenance Services, Henry, regarding seal coating the roads in the Walnut cemetery. The bid, in the amount of $11,280, would include all of the roads within the cemetery. This seal coating would be done in conjunction with the other seal coating project within the village. This project was previously approved by the board and will be completed by Pavement Maintenance after the July 4 celebration. This proposal was approved.

• Finance Committee chairperson Sarver proposed to the board that village clerk Tiffany Pistole have her hours increased from 29 to 30 per week. This increase would change her employment status from part-time to full-time and would entitle Pistole to insurance benefits. The board agreed to increase her hours and to provide medical benefits for her.

• The board expressed their condolences to Walnut Police Chief Tom Ptasnik on the death of his father, Michael Ptasnik.

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