No open burning allowed in residential area at lake

Staff reporter

A burning restriction at Marion County Lake was approved Monday by Marion County Commission which would make it unlawful for open burning in platted areas where houses are located.

Individuals can request permission from Marion Fire Chief Mike Regnier to burn brush and leaves.

County zoning administrator Bobbi Strait said she has received complaints from residents and concerns have been expressed to Regnier and lake superintendent Steve Hudson regarding the issue of brush and trash being burned.

Issues include the close proximity of houses in the platted areas and the overgrowth of brush and weeds in other areas. Some houses are located in areas that would be difficult for fire equipment to reach.

Commissioner Randy Dallke questioned the actual number of people who have complained.

"We may be doing something to hurt 190 people after a few people complain," Dallke said. He continued that he didn't want to see more residents' rights taken away.

Strait said that in three years, she has had three different people call about one specific resident who turns trash in his/her backyard.

Commissioner Dan Holub said there are some blighted areas at the lake with brush, lumber, and debris.

"It would take one ember to make the whole area go up," Holub said.

Strait said the county doesn't have any nuisance codes and can only follow state statutes which does not have a way to force people to clean up their properties.

The resolution allows barbecue grills, and burning in designated fire places.

In other business:

— Strait reported that Kansas Department of Health and Environment found some trash had been exposed at the former landfill and needed to be reburied.

KDHE also wanted a hedge row removed if it is determined there is trash under it. The commission suggested Strait contact the county's landfill consultant, Jack Chappelle to determine the necessary steps.

— The commission signed a letter of support for Amtrak to stop in Peabody.

Strait said Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe intersect on the south side of Peabody which would be a prime location for a daily stop for the passenger train.

— The county surface water advisory board is recommending the county apply for a wetlands grant. The application deadline is June 2. A public meeting will be at 8:30 a.m. Friday at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer office at Marion Reservoir.

— A new transmission will be installed in the zoning department's Chevrolet Blazer for $2,436 by Webster Auto Service of Marion.

— Durham Fire District #1 had its annual meeting and made the following appointments: Scott David and Kent Becker, three-year terms; Curtis Frick and Gary Unruh, two-year terms; and Tim Kaufman, one-year term.

Tim Kaufman was elected chairman, Kent Becker vice president, and Gary Unruh secretary/treasurer.