Como’s burn permit ordinance still smoldering 6/12/2015

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 12, 2015

Como’s burn permit ordinance still smoldering

By Rupert Howell
An apparent dispute between Como’s fire and police chiefs concerning the burn ordinance permits spilled into the department heads’ reports during Tuesday night’s monthly meeting of the town’s mayor and board of aldermen held at the meeting room of Como Library.

Fire Chief Randy Perkins said the problem with burn permits is the law is not being enforced and stated that it only takes a phone call to him to acquire a permit.

“I do all the leg work,” Perkins said, “but not one ticket has been issued to my knowledge.”
“First of all this burn stuff,” Police Chief Earl Burdette said during his report, “I’m not going to ride around and chase no smoke.”

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Burdette said he was not going to chase fires adding, “I’ve already got enough to do,”  mentioning trying to prevent break-ins and other crimes and  then stated, “I’ve got enough to do. Y’all are making something out of nothing.”

Burdette would later pass around pictures of badge styles and received permission to order new badges for police officers and board members during his presentation after he explained that different styles of badges were being used by his department as some had been lost or misplaced.

Mayor Everette Hill said City Hall would handle the burn permits for the present time.
In July of last year aldermen adopted a comprehensive burn ordinance developed by the town’s attorney, fire and police chiefs according to a December news story.

The need for the ordinance came about due to an an over abundance of trash and grass fires.
“It’s working; we’re not having any trash fires or grass fires,” Perkins told the Como board during their December 9, 2014 meeting.

Residents at Tuesday meeting mentioned other towns having curbside pickup of debris that alleviates the need for some to burn, however Como doesn’t have manpower or resources for that alternative.

Several in the audience made suggestions concerning what to do with rubbish collected in yards from trees and clippings, including hiring a service to remove them curbside or recycling it into mulch.

In other business, resident Barry Cox asked for relief on his water and sewer bill, due to being hooked up to a septic tank and not the city sewer.

An Attorney General’s opinion was read that stated residents who didn’t use a sewer system also benefitted from the collective purpose of a community sewer system and aldermen took no action on Cox’s request.

A boil water notice issued the previous week may have been due to a contaminated vessel used to collect a sample as no other samples collected showed signs of contamination.

That discussion raised the issue of how to notify residents of a problem as many only learned of the “boil water” notice after it had been lifted.

Mayor Hill said he had discussed with county Emergency Management Coordinator Daniel Cole if Como residents could be notified through his department’s robo call system.

Cole agreed that county system could be used and told Hill it would require those with cell phones only to register their numbers for the system. Those with “land lines’ or home phones would already be included.

Karen Ott-Mayer with the Como Main Street Alliance received the go-ahead to apply for a match grant to replace a roof on the old city hall building. The Community Development Block Grant would come through the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Mayer explained, the amount of approximately $6,000 and would repay a portion of the total amount.
Officials agreed for Mayor Hill to be the voting delegate for the Mississippi Municipal League meeting with aldermen Ruby Higgenbotham and John Walton as alternate delegates.