City Planning Commission to further research future outdoor furnace ordinance

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By Meagan Beck
The Williamston Post

The Planning Commission called for further research on an Outdoor Furnace Ordinance at a meeting on March 3.

The ordinance was sent to the commission for review after a Feb. 23 city council meeting.

Alan Dolley, city manager, said the topic of creating an ordinance arose when a phone call was made to city hall by a citizen inquiring as to whether he or she could install one.

City Manager Alan Dolley said the issue arose when a citizen asked about installing one.

An informal motion declared four members for further research and three for banning the use of outdoor furnaces.

These furnaces can use wood or other resources to heat a home or other buildings.

Despite the initial cost of some furnaces, which range from $2,000 to $5,000, they can help people save money in the long run.

“They’re economical for some people because they’re not spending as much money on natural gas,” Commissioner John Bisard said.

Vice chair member Jane Reagan said she is against the use of these furnaces and banning them would benefit the city.

She said a previous ordinance about outside burning made a positive impact on quality of air and this ordinance would build upon the previous ordinance.

“I don’t want polluting to be allowed, period,” Reagan said.

Mario Ortega, planning and zoning administrator, said he will be doing more research about the use of the furnaces, but he said the ordinance could benefit the city.

“Given the size and scale of our single-family homes … my initial response is (the ordinance) would be good for the city,” Ortega said.

More information is to be provided at the April 7 meeting at City Hall.

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