"Recreational" burning - use of fire pits or fire rings - was defended Monday night, July 2, as residents voiced their opinions on a possible burning ban being considered by the Tama City Council.
Police Chief Dan Wilkens asked the council's help on June 18. "We're getting caught in the middle of a mess," Wilkens said in seeking some type of control over fires within the city. He said recent confrontations between residents over burning prompted his appeal to the council.
The current regulations allow for burning yard waste but prohibit garbage from being burned within the city limits.
Tama Police Chief
Council members said then they wanted to gauge community reaction to such a ban before any action is taken.
On Monday night, Ellen Graff told the council, "We have a fire pit, for recreational burning and cook over it two to three times a week." She urged the council to "leave recreational burning alone - a lot of us use but do not abuse."
However, Graff said she strongly supported giving police the backing they need to control illegal garbage burning. She said, "First time warn them, second time a fine, third time a day in jail."
- Out the tamatoledonews.com ePoll on this issue on the home page:
"What action should the City of Tama take on burning?"
David Smith and Charlie Betz both also spoke in favor of continuing to allow recreational burning.
Wilkens said his call was never aimed at the fire pits but centered around problems with burning of yard waste. He said it is legal to burn grass clippings and brush in the city and this is often what the police department receives complaints about.
Wilkens said the department has taken an active stance against those violating the law burning garbage and they have been charged.
Graff said the council must also
consider some senior citizens do not have other ways to get rid of yard waste and are unable to deliver material to the city collection sites for disposal.
Mayor Dan Zimmerman said he had received a great many emails and calls concerning the possibility of some type of ban. He said opinion was split "50-50," so far.
He said he would oppose banning fire pits and said he was considering purchasing one himself.
Council members and Zimmerman directed the burning ban be placed on the council agenda again for the July 17 regular meeting and invited residents to attend the meeting to voice their opinion or to contact city officials prior that time.
2012 Salaries Approved; Accept Two Resignations
On a 4-0 vote Monday night the Tama City Council approved city wages for the 2012-13 fiscal year with across-the-board pay hikes of $1,500 for most positions. Voting in favor were members Kenny McAdoo, Robert Tyynismaa, Mike Carnahan and Crystal Kaufman. Member Steve Baier was absent.
The new pay effective with the June 30 pay period (old amounts in parenthesis): police chief $47,500 ($46,000); police detective 40,500 (39,000); police sergeant 40,500 (39,000); certified officer with experience 39,500 (38,000); starting certified officer 36,750 (35,250); city clerk 43,023 (41,523); deputy city clerk 35,722 (34,222); street superintendent 41,319 (39,819); street laborer 35,722 (34,222); cemetery sexton 34,620 (33,120); paramedic 38,239 (36,739); water department 40,500 (40,000); sewer 42,500 (41,000) public works director 53,000 (52,000); custodian 9.75 hourly (9.50); part-time police 14 hourly (13); part-time street laborer 10; extra help city clerk's office 9.
Resignations were accepted from Police Detective John Carr effective June 27 and from Roger Bennett, water department employee, effective June 26.
In other business the council:
approved the closing of a number of downtown streets over the two-day Tama Sesquicentennial on July 27-28. Rosemary Brady, Deb Kouba and Charlie Betz, reporting for the committee said they continue to seek volunteers to help with various activities Contact Brady at 641-484-5278 to volunteer or for more information
heard from Jeff and Nancy Dostal concerning the rejection by the Board of Adjustment of allowing apartments in a downtown building they have purchased in the 100 block of East 3rd Street. They were advised to again contact the Board of Adjustment or the Planning and Zoning Board.
approved the sale of a city-owned lot in the Indian Head Addition to Bob and Mary Buresh for $5,000.
approved participation in a new StormReady program being initiated by the Central Iowa Storm Advisory Board.
approved repairs to none of the pumps in the flood control dike at a cost of $4,425.
approved purchase of a climbing wall playground equipment for $2,745 to be installed at the East 3rd Street playground.
approved annual donations to the South Tama Food Pantry and Meals on Wheels for $200 each.
approved participation in a housing rehabilitation grant for Jamie Youngbear for a home on East 5th Street in the amount of $15,805.
approved a beer sales permit renewal for Casey's General Store.
discussed the status of the Dayline Trailer Court on East 5th Street with no action taken.