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Paynesville Press - October 13, 2004

City residents reminded to obey leaf burning ban

By Michael Jacobson

Unlike previous years, city residents will not be allowed to burn leaves nor to rake them into the street from mid-October to mid-November. This summer, the Paynesville City Council enacted a leaf burning ban, changing the city ordinance that had allowed these practices in previous years.

Instead, city residents will either need to take advantage of a curbside leaf pick-up on Saturday, Oct. 23, or haul their leaves to the city's compost site on Co. Rd. 33. The compost site - located between the city sewer ponds and Highway 23 - is open on Wednesday evenings from 6 p.m. to dusk and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

burn ban The curbside leaf pick-up will be held on Saturday, Oct. 23, with leaves needing to be bagged and tied and on the street by 8 a.m. West Central Sanitation will be picking up leaves only - no garbage - on that day.

Because Paynesville has enacted a burning ban on leaves this fall, city residents may have greater need for the compost site, located on Co. Rd. 33 east of town. The compost site is open this fall on Wednesday evenings from 6 p.m. to dusk and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The city will also have a curbside leaf pick-up on Saturday, Oct. 23.

The burning ban was enacted by the city council because burning leaves was deemed to be a health hazard, as smoke disturbed residents who were sensitive to smoke, possibly due to asthma or allergies. In addition, when leaves are burned on or near the street or when leaves are put in the storm sewer, the nutrients flow into the Crow River and to Rice Lake and Lake Koronis. Environmentalists are trying to limit the amounts of nutrients into all three bodies of water in order to improve water quality.

The Paynesville Police Department will be enforcing the new burning ban within the city limits, said police chief Kent Kortlever. Residents who burn leaves or rake them into a street face a $50 administrative fine, he added.

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