Greencastle council favors ban on outdoor furnaces

October 05, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- The Borough of Greencastle moved forward Monday with a potential ban on outdoor furnaces.

In a 5-2 vote, the board authorized its solicitor to draft an amendment prohibiting exterior furnaces as a source of structural heating. Councilmen Duane Kinzer and Craig Myers dissented.

Borough Manager Ken Womack proposed amending the open burning ordinance in September. He said his goal was to prohibit the furnaces before any popped up in town.

"In an urban environment, these things are just not suitable," Womack said.

Putrid smoke and air pollution remained the primary concerns among council members as the debate resumed on Monday.

"I know that they are quite smoky," Myers said. "They are not really borough-worthy things."

Few members of the council knew of the furnaces and had requested more information from staff before moving forward with the amendment.


Womack said he researched the stoves online and found evidence to support not allowing the structures in the borough.

From a lack of Environmental Protection Agency regulation, to emission of toxic chemicals from short smoke stacks, he said he felt the public health, safety and welfare would outweigh any benefit of allowing the furnaces in town.

Kinzer suggested putting stipulations on the furnaces, such as only allowing furnaces with smoke stacks as tall as a chimney. However, Councilman Mark Singer moved to draft the amendment and his motion was passed the majority of council.

Outdoor furnaces will not be officially banned from town until the final amendment is passed by the council, Womack said.

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