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County nixes burn control ordinance


LaGrange County Commissioners let the idea of enacting a countywide open burning regulation ordinance die for lack of a second Monday morning. Commission Chairman George Bachman made a motion to continue with drafting such an ordinance and the motion died for lack of a second.

Emergency Management Director Stewart Bender spoke in favor of putting a local burning ordinance in place. “The language in the state statute needs to be cleaned up,” he said. “There would be no intention of prohibiting the burning of brush and fence rows in rural areas. We do need to prohibit the burning of tires and oil products.”

Commissioner Larry Miller inquired about enforcing the state law. Sheriff Terry Martin responded that the state code is mostly criminal with both misdemeanor and felony charges. “We don’t want to be in a position of taking people to jail for burning trash,” he stated.

County Attorney Kurt Bachman said that a local ordinance could impose a fine which if not paid would then be brought before the county commissioners much the same as the current nuisance ordinance.

In other business, commissioners approved a three-year extension of the contract that is in place for the county recorder’s office. The five-year-old contract will see an increase of 3 percent in the first year, to $28,325, and increase to $29,150 for years two and three of the extension. There was no increase in cost during the first five years of the contract, which is for software that is used for recording documents.

Commissioners also approved an open ended contract of some $12,500 for the county assessor’s office. The contract with the Worrell Group will send a notice of assessed values of real estate, as determined by the county-wide reassessment of property, to county taxpayers for the March 1, 2012 assessment. Taxes due in 2013 will be based on these values.

This is the same company that has printed tax bills and done mailings for the county previously.