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July 28, 2013

Council to vote on annex rules

Proposed legislation addresses burning, firearms, stormwater, livestock and chemicals.

Logansport City Council is preparing to vote on five ordinances council members say will allow residents of the areas recently annexed into the city to maintain much of their way of life.

Lindsay Ruby, an attorney hired by residents of the two annexation areas, had been working with Logansport City Attorney Randy Head to draft legislation ensuring rights her clients had grown accustomed to but would be considered illegal within city limits.

What resulted were five ordinances addressing burning, firearms, stormwater, livestock and agricultural chemicals, respectively.

“We hope this will give them the level of comfort they’re asking for,” said Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin.

One of the proposed ordinances states residents will not have to pay stormwater fees to the city unless it installs such infrastructure improvements in that area, which Franklin said he doesn’t see “happening in the near future.”

Annexation residents had expressed a desire to be able to continue burning trash at previous public meetings.

City council will vote on an ordinance that would allow annexation residents to burn fence rows and other vegetation on land zoned for agricultural use, but not any waste or building materials.

The proposed ordinance goes on to state outdoor fireplaces, campfires and other recreational fires are permitted as long as they are contained to a fire pit or ring and with clean wood. Grills are also permitted, as long as food prepared on them is not for commercial use.

Fertilizers, herbicides, chemicals and other compounds commonly used for agriculture would also be permitted in the annexation areas under a proposed ordinance.

At a city council committee meeting Wednesday, Logansport City Councilman Bob Bishop said he didn’t understand the purpose for the proposed ordinances regarding burning and chemicals, as neither dictate anything that isn’t already currently legal within city limits.

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