Burn ordinance up for vote

PRAIRIE GROVE – The Village Board is set to vote today on a more-restrictive burning ordinance that mirrors the county’s and goes a step further to prohibit the burning of grass and hay.

But the ordinance could be hard to enforce in Prairie Grove’s rural community, where some properties extend beyond village borders.

The proposed ordinance incorporates one adopted last month that allows the village president to declare an emergency ban on burning. Village President Stan Duda issued a burn ban earlier this summer to reduce fire hazards amid an ongoing drought, according to the village’s website.

Some residents have questioned how the ordinance would be enforced and how its language should be interpreted.

“We’ve had conversations about what constitutes grass,” Village Administrator Jeannine Smith said Monday.

Smith said the ordinance was prompted by complaints about smoke from opening burning, particularly grass and hay.

The ordinance may not solve the smoke issue because property owners who have land that extends beyond village borders could move burn piles to those areas.

“We can’t control the county,” Smith said.

The board is scheduled to vote on the proposed ordinance at a meeting at 7 p.m. today at Village Hall, 3125 Barreville Road.

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