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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Restrictions placed on outdoor furnances

  • If you think you might want to build an outdoor wood-burning furnace next to your house, you may need to buy some of the lots around you — or move outside the city limits.
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  • If you think you might want to build an outdoor wood-burning furnace next to your house, you may need to buy some of the lots around you — or move outside the city limits.
    The Rolla City Council last week adopted an ordinance that makes only a handful of homes in Rolla eligible for the alternative source of heat.
    “You might as well just eliminate them and be done with them,” Fifth Ward Councilman Jim Williams told the council when the final version of the ordinance was presented Tuesday night, Sept. 3, for the final reading.
    The language had been revised to say that the furnaces must be located at least 300 feet from any residence not currently being served by an outdoor wood-burning furnace. That was an increase from 150 feet.
    “If we go to 300 feet, it’s going to eliminate outdoor furnaces by 90 percent,” Williams said. “Why not just outlaw furnaces in Rolla?”
    Outlawing the wood-burning units was what Ken and Margaret Hawley, who brought the complaint about smoke from a neighbor’s furnace to the attention of the council, asked for in their initial presentation.
    Although the council did not outlaw the furnaces, the council by motion approved the change in language to the ordinance, approved a section that requires all current furnaces to be operated and maintained by rules in the ordinance and by manufacturers’ specifications and then approved the ordinance.
    Both motions and the ordinance passed by a vote of 7-1. Williams was the dissenter. Voting in favor were Greg Sawyer and Steve Leonard, Ward Two; Kelly Long and Susan Eudaly, Ward Three; Brian Woolley, Ward Five, and Tony Bahr and Walt Bowe, Ward Six.
    Absent were both First Ward council members, Rhonda Sue Myers and Monty Jordan, and both Fourth Ward council members, Don Morris and Louis Magdits.
    Community Development Director John Petersen agreed that the ordinance will eliminate the possibility of the outdoor furnaces throughout most of Rolla.
    “These really are more for a rural area. They’re not really urban,” he said.
    Petersen noted he knows of four such furnaces that have been built in the city limits. Only one was installed with a building permit.

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