GV ban on burn barrels advances | TheUnion.com

GV ban on burn barrels advances

Grass Valley residents may soon have to abandon the use of burn barrels.

The City Council gave unanimous preliminarily approval Tuesday to an ordinance that would prohibit the use of the burn barrels within city limits. Residents will still be able to obtain permits to burn yard waste in piles.

If approved, the rules could become effective in May, said Grass Valley Fire Chief Hank Weston. His staff will educate the public before issuing citations, which could result in a $25 fine, Weston said after the vote.

The ban could be in place in Grass Valley before burn barrels are banned throughout the state.

A statewide ban go into effect as soon as July 2003, said Gretchen Bennitt, director of the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District, which monitors air quality in Nevada, Sierra and Plumas counties.

Burn barrels are often used to burn garbage, city and state officials say. They are poorly ventilated and generate a lot of smoke and cancer-causing dioxins, officials say.

Garbage burning is illegal throughout the county, Bennitt said, with fines running as high as $10,000.

In another matter, the council approved a new contract with Grass Valley Little League which allows the group to continue using the fields at Condon Park.

The vote was 4-1, with Mayor Linda Stevens dissenting. “I’m not sure the city should subsidize Little League,” she said before the vote.

Little League parents and volunteers last year provided $2,540 worth of improvements and did not have to pay the city cash to use the ball fields, according to city figures.

After the meeting, Sandy Jacobson, city parks and recreation coordinator, said other groups could emulate Little League and perform in-kind work.

More than 350 youngsters participate in Grass Valley Little League, the group said.

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