Starke County officials expanded upon their existing burn ordinances with the addition of a new one when Commissioners met for their first meeting of 2020.
County Attorney Marty Lucas explained that a concern with individuals burning leaves on the pavement and damaging it was brought to the attention of officials.
Rather than amending the existing burn ordinance, a new ordinance was created to specifically address that issue.
Lucas said that in addition to prohibiting people from burning on the pavement, the ordinance also addresses the County’s policy related to burning on right-of-way properties.
He explained, “Generally, the public isn’t allowed to start a fire in the right-of-way. However, it can be allowed if written permission is granted by the [Highway] Superintendent because it’s a legitimate way, potentially, of right-of-way maintenance.
Lucas indicated that the intention of this new document is not to amend the existing burning ordinances, but rather to create a new policy dedicated to preserving the roadways and improving driver safety by eliminating potentially hazardous burning in the right-of-way.
The rules were suspended and Commissioners approved the ordinance on all three readings. Lucas noted that the fines associated with the ordinance will not go into effect until after they’ve been advertised but said that the ordinance will still exist as a non-finable order in the meantime.