The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

August 5, 2009

Camanche to look at rec burn rules

CAMANCHE — The Camanche City Council on Tuesday discussed the possibility of changing the recreational burning ordinance to include a possible time restriction.

Bonnie McManus, 603 First St., Camanche, came to the meeting, reporting problems with a neighbor having bonfires near her home late into the night. McManus said the fires cause a great deal of smoke to enter her home when she has her windows open.

“And I don’t feel I should have to run my air conditioner 24/7 because I have neighbors who want to burn 24/7,” said McManus, adding, “I’m just asking if you would be willing to consider stipulations, regulations, on recreational burning. Maybe 10 o’clock at night. Shut it down at 10 o’clock at night, or a certain day.”

While Camanche does have specific restrictions and burn days for burnable items and burning barrels, recreational burning has little restrictions. City Administrator Tom Roth said the only thing the ordinance on recreational burning states is that the bonfire must be wood only and it is allowed any time of the day. Mayor Jim Robertson said this ordinance was designed to give some balance and try to be fair to citizens after the burning day restrictions were crafted. He said he believes most citizens do not abuse this, but only a few ruin it for everyone else.

McManus said this neighbor is abusing it, holding parties until as late at 4 a.m. She said this causes her problems.

“Well, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect someone to put out a recreational fire at a decent hour. I don’t think any of you would want a neighbor who burned till 2, 3, 4 o’clock in the morning and your house fills up with smoke. The stench is awful,” said McManus.

“Just thinking about that recreational burning thing, I’ve got a hunch it wasn’t planned to be an all-night bonfire, party sort of thing. To me the idea of putting an hour on it seems reasonable,” said Roth.

Robertson said he would like to get other citizens’ thoughts and look into the matter further before making any decisions.

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