Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wellsboro Regulates Outdoor Furnaces

Outdoor wood-burning furnace ordinance adopted

By BRYAN G. ROBINSON Sun-Gazette Correspondent

WELLSBORO - Wellsboro Borough Council on Monday adopted an ordinance that regulates outdoor wood-burning furnaces.

The ordinance regulates new and existing furnaces that are used to heat interior spaces, and establishes setbacks of 500 feet of a neighbor's property line. It takes effect immediately.

Just like households with new furnaces, each owner of an existing furnace will be required to apply for a permit to operate furnaces within 30 days of the ordinance being enacted. However, the $25 fees for application and permit, which council also established by resolution Monday night, will be waived for owners of existing furnaces.

Other fees include $25 for an inspection fee, and $250 each for a variance and appeal.

"I know it's not what everybody wants, but it's a starting point and is something for us to work from," said Michael Wood, council president, before the vote was taken. "If it does pass tonight, I would like to see people who have woodstoves and those who don't on the appeals board."

Other key provisions include:

Outdoor furnace owners will be allowed to burn only fuels designed for the furnaces and which are approved by the manufacturer, with a restriction on 14 different materials that might not be burned, from garbage to tires to leaves.

All outdoor furnaces will be prohibited from operating between May 31 and Aug. 31 each year, to cut down on smoke in residential areas during the summer when more people are outdoors or have windows open in their homes for ventilation.

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