NEW CASTLE Council to vote on burning ban
People with permits will be allowed to burn until the permits expire.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- City council started the process to ban burning within the city limits, despite some objections from the public.
Council members introduced a resolution at Thursday's meeting that will prohibit all open burning in the city except for cooking and other special situations such as pest control.
City council will officially vote on the measure Sept. 12 and if approved, it will become effective 20 days later. City residents now purchase two-year permits that allow them to burn cardboard and papers from sunrise to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
Council President Richard DeBlasio said those permits will continue to be sold until the ban becomes official sometime in early October, and those people with permits will not be affected by the new law until their permits expire.
It appears that three council members, DeBlasio, Mark Elisco and Patricia May, support the ban on burning.
Council members Christine Sands and John Russo have said they will vote against the ban.
Sands called the current one-day burning law a compromise that should continue.
Other council members argue that health problems are caused by the burning and it should be banned.
City Fire Chief James Donston said earlier this week that the current law is difficult to enforce.
Mahoningtown resident Joe Sparano, however, believes a ban on burning will only penalize law-abiding citizens who bought permits and follow the current burning rules. He asked council to reconsider the ban.
Sparano said he believes burning will continue even if a ban is in place because the worst offenders aren't even following the current laws set by city council.