City considers changes to burn ordinance

Published 10:00pm Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Selma City Council Tuesday voted to put an updated city burning ordinance on first read and also approved the scheduling of a public hearing for April regarding the Selma Fire Department adopting and updating new state of Alabama fire codes.

City attorney Jimmy Nunn said Selma Fire Chief Michael Stokes requested the council place an updated city burn ordinance on first read so people within the city can burn material or shavings or, “any type of combustible material if they get prior approval from the fire department.”

Nunn said this would give the fire department prior notice and the department would be able to issue one-time permits to those individuals wishing to burn.

Stokes said adjusting this ordinance would allow for things like bond fires at schools and universities to go on like they always have, “we are just going to have a better process.”

“Basically now, anyone can do what they want to do under our ordinance,” Stokes said, ”We just want to change that to where you have to go through the department to get [approval.]”

Nunn also asked the council approve a public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, April 9 for residents to review an updated city fire code. He said state guidelines call for the city to be in compliance and up-to-date with whatever code they are using.

Nunn said 2006 was the last time the city updated its fire code.

Stokes explained to the council when the city adopted the 2006 fire code it was one version of the minimum standards for the state, which required all departments operate from the 2005 code.

“The state of Alabama in late 2010 adopted the 2009 version as a state minimum which means the city of Selma has fallen behind the state minimum,” Stokes said. “We are requesting that the 2012 version puts us a step ahead of the state, and when the state comes back and adopts either the 2012 or 2013 version,. it will just give us more time to come into compliance with them for the codes.”

The public hearing will be at 4 p.m., one hour prior to the Selma City Council meeting.

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