Proposed burn law won’t hurt businesses


After three years of work and revisions, New Milford Borough’s planning commission has finally come up with a burn ordinance they think addresses needs of the town.

Borough council agreed with the ordinance revisions at the December 2 meeting and voted to advertise the burn ordinance with the hopes of adopting it at the January meeting.

The revised ordinance also allows restaurants and other commercial establishments to cook outdoors, an act prohibited in an earlier version.

Borough rep on the planning commission Teri Gulick said, “Our main concern was we did not want to hurt our commercial properties from cooking outdoors.”

The revised ordinance also dropped the setback requirement from the roads to five feet and allows for the use of grills and patio fireplaces on the decks of homes.

The ordinance prohibits open burning but allows for burning in containers of materials that don’t emit noxious fumes, such as plastics and rubber.

“You have to keep it contained now,” said Gulick explaining the ordinance to council members, “and can only burn what can be burned legally.”

Fines will be assessed at no less than $100 for each offense and could even be as high as $1,000.

Gulick said, “It’s really something for people to take seriously.”

The planning commission is also looking into a brake retarder ordinance for the borough.

Gulick said commission members took the time to speak with truck drivers to gain a better understanding of their use of the jake brakes.

Any brake retarder ordinance, affecting state roadsin the borough, would have to be submitted and approved by PennDOT, Gulick said.

She also said truck drivers had suggested that any ordinance adopted limit the use of the jake brakes during late night hours.

The brake retarders, explained Gulick, make it easier for the trucks to stop and help keep loads from shifting in the trucks.

The planning commission was also asked by council to look into the feasibility of yard sale ordinance for the borough.

The commission members reached a consensus of opinion that such an ordinance was not really necessary in New Milford. A yard sale ordinance would have required residents to obtain a permit in order to hold a yard sale.

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