The Storm Lake City Council made initial steps to ban open burning year around during its meeting yesterday.
The council passed the first reading of an ordinance which would permanently ban burning in the city limits.
The current code allows burning two times a year as set by the fire chief, but the city council placed a moratorium on open burning in 1999 and 2000.
During that time the council and public safety department have been able to study the impact a ban on burning would have, according to Public Safety Director Mark Prosser.
With the ordinance being passed now, open burning will not be allowed, although the fire chief is allowed to authorize burning for limited times "to assist in the clean up of debris in the aftermath of manmade or natural disasters such as tornadoes and ice storms," Prosser said.
"It is our belief that this exception to the code of no burning over the past two years has allowed for the community to adapt to the practice and has enhanced fire safety through the elimination of potential threats of spreading fires within the city limits of Storm Lake," Prosser said in a memo to the council.
In other news:
* The city council set a public hearing regarding possible land acquisitions in the Dakota Well project.
City Attorney Paul Havens said the city will need to procure a site for one of two proposed wells, as well as obtain easement rights for transmission lines.
Havens said the city hopes to be able to purchase the land voluntarily from land owners.
"We don't think it will have any negative effect on their property at all," said City Administrator John Call.
However, if the city needs to use its right of condemnation to obtain the land, a public hearing is required to notify all affected land owners.
A hearing has been set for Monday, Nov. 19, at 5 p.m.
* Bil-Mar Foods and the city agreed to allow the turkey processor to increase the total amount of water the city treats from the plant from 750,000 gallons per day to 800,000 gallons per day.
Bil-Mar requested the increase due to increased production at the plant.
As well as treating more wastewater, Bil-Mar will also use an additional 50,000 gallons of water per day, said Jim Winterton, city engineer.
Since the city has lifted water conservation measures, Winterton said increased water use at Bil-Mar should not adversely affect other city users.
* The snow ban will begin Nov. 1. Under the ban, no vehicles may be parked overnight on city streets from Nov. 1 to the spring of next year.