Village of Pound To Air Wood Burner Ordinance

After brief discussion at its regular monthly meeting on Monday, March 13, Pound Village Board agreed  to hold a special meeting at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 28 to consider proposals for an ordinance to regulate outdoor wood burning heating units in the village.

Discussion on the wood burning heater ordinance at the March 13 meeting included some concerns from Mike Rogodzinski that many yards in the village were too small to accommodate the setbacks included in most of the sample ordinances, and other trustees wanted to review more ordinances from other communities before making any decision.

“I am more and more leaning toward having no ordinance on this,” Rogodzinski commented.

Village President Terry Earley noted some of the sample ordinances required burning only clean wood products, and wondered how they would enforce the rules, and also wondered why it mattered if the wood burning heating units were in the back yard or inside the house. He commented that heating with wood saves some people a lot of money.

There also were comments that wind direction and weather conditions affect where the smoke goes and how long it stays, whether the wood is burned inside or outside, and whether it is on a large lot or a small one would ultimately make little difference.

Earley commented the suggestion for an ordinance regulating outdoor wood heating units came up because of complaints from a village resident about smoke from a neighbor’s wood burner.

Public Works/Utilities Director Scott Fuelle reported that some of the street lights in the village are not working properly, particularly those on County Q across from Gilly’s Old Habits, and he has been getting complaints. The lights come on sometimes and stay on, other times they come on and go out, and some times they do not go on at all.

He believes the problems started when a vehicle hit a power pole. He has had an electrician look at the problem, and it will be fixed as soon as the ground thaws sufficiently for him to work on the wires.

In response to a question from Trustee John Homontowski, Fuelle said he is now certified and licensed as a utility operator, so yes, the village is saving money with him as public works director. He said Aaron Patefield is no longer on the regular village payroll and will be hired only when needed as a consultant.

Clerk/Treasurer Diane Patz said she and Fuelle had been brainstorming about ways to make things better in the village, and had come up with a list of infrastructure projects the village should get done and repairs that need to be made. Earley and other board members agreed they should work on prioritizing the projects and get back to them with the results. Earley thanked them for their efforts.

The project Fuelle has recommended for the near future include widening and installing curb and gutter on Alma Street, and work on water and sewer on Larson Street. There were comments that some other much needed projects are large enough to require grant funding and will require more lead time.

Rogodzinski said he is in the process of retiring from the Fire Department. He said donations have been coming in, and the raffle is proving successful.

“The raffle and other fund raisers are a lot easier than having a picnic,” he commented.

Spring Cleanup Day is scheduled for Saturday, May 6, from 8 a.m. to noon, with charges and rules to be the same as they were for the Fall Cleanup Day.

There was brief discussion on a WPS plan to put all electric wires in the village underground. Fuelle said WPS will be taking down their power station in October, and had to put it off until then due to some endangered species of butterflies being found there.

The board approved paying $147,315.27 in regular bills from the general fund and $24,926 in utilities bills.

Patz reminded everyone to vote on Tuesday, April 4.


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