FD council rejects bid to allow open burning

Fort Dodge residents will not be allowed to burn leaves this fall.

A proposal that would have permitted the open burning of yard waste from Saturday through Nov. 24 was rejected by the City Council Tuesday on a 4-2 vote.

Councilmen Dave Flattery, Dean Hill, Robert ”Barney” Patterson and Don Wilson voted against the plan to temporarily suspend the city’s ban on open burning.

Councilmen Kim Alstott and Mark Taylor voted in favor of it. Councilman Andy Fritz was absent.

In 2010, the council approved a ban on open burning, but every year since then it has lifted that ban for a few days each spring and fall.

In a related matter, Assistant Fire Chief Woody Wolfe said anyone who wants to file a complaint about open burning should call the Webster County Law Enforcement Center rather than the firehouse. He said if the firefighters are out on an emergency call, there will not be anyone in the firehouse to answer the phone. But he said dispatchers at the law enforcement center can always reach the firefighters by radio.

Wolfe was responding to a complaint by resident Steve Grandors, who said he called the firehouse on a weekend to complain about a neighbor burning trash and got an answering machine. He said he then called the Law Enforcement Center, but it took 20 minutes for someone from the Fire Department to respond to his complaint. By that time, Grandors said, his neighbor had finished burning all of his trash.

Wolfe said he wasn’t on duty that day, and didn’t know what might have lead to the delayed response.

Burning trash is always illegal in Fort Dodge.