Board denies burn abatement request

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The Crawfordsville Board of Public Works and Safety on Wednesday denied an abatement of the city’s burn ordinance for clearing land near an eastside apartment complex, citing safety concerns.

Resident Dave Dolph was seeking permission from the city to burn brush and clear nine acres of land north of Autumn Woods off of Corda Boulevard. The city frequently approves burn abatements, but raised concerns about the land’s proximity to the apartments, which house elderly people with health issues.

The request also drew opposition from nearby Pace Dairy Foods, which raised concerns about smoke harming their products.

“Any smoke that would get in their building would cause contamination and ruin product, so I think it’s wisest to move the wood off site to dispose of it rather than burn it on site,” Mayor Todd Barton said in a motion to deny the abatement.

Dolph, who did not attend the virtual meeting, was asked to call the fire chief for any further discussion.

In other business, the board:

• Approved the city’s annual agreement with the Animal Welfare League for animal control services in the amount of $121,000. Under the terms, AWL agrees to hold public board meetings. The Open Door Law does not apply to the agency because the state does not audit its budget, but Barton said AWL should follow the same provisions due to the amount of city funding it receives and public interest in the meetings.

• Approved a request from Montgomery County Leadership Academy director Lynn Ringis to use two parking spots on the south side of Main Street outside Fusion 54 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 22 for an American Red Cross blood drive.

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