Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 25, 2014

Council faces burning issues

By Mary Zielinski | Nov 28, 2012

KALONA — Recent requests by residents to ban open burning in Kalona have council members looking into a compost site for leaves, grass and other yard waste as an alternative.  Discussion during the Nov. 19 council meeting included a ban on all burning and possible set days to allow leaf burning.
Equally discussed was if the ordinance were passed, who would enforce it, noting that the fire chief has the right.
No action was taken, but the issue will be on the Dec. 3 meeting agenda.  Detailed information about setting up a compost site also is expected to be on the agenda.
During the meeting, residents cited problems with burning affecting laundry on clothelines, problems for those with asthma, and smoke coming into windows.
Currently, Kalona permits opening burning of yard waste, provided certain precautions are met.
In other business, the council:
• approved the second reading, waived the third, and approved passage of the Floodplain Management Ordinance;
• approved the adopting of the Washington County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan, following a public hearing in which no objections were raised;
• approved the Code of Ordinances of the City of Kalona, specifically by adopting current building codes.  The code approval was recommended by the city’s building inspector;
• approved the change order No. 1 for the A Avenue (bridge) project, an increase of $16,316 in reward to storm sewer work;
• approved the resolution accepting public improvements, specifically for the asphalt paving street work in the amount of $166,460;
•authorized the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) fund certification and a resolution authorizing fund transfer for road work; and
•approved the city’s annual report for fiscal 2011-12 that shows Kalona finished the year with a more than $1.6 million fund balance, left after covering all expenditures of $2,670,589.   Its current general obligation debt is $4.3 million, long-term, or a bit more than 50 percent of its total debt limit of $7,879,507.  Or, as the mayor and council noted, “it is good, it is very good.”  Especially in light of the fact Kalona did a more than $3 million downtown revitalization a year ago.

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