The Knox City Council tabled burn permit request from IDEM and the Starke County Economic Development Foundation (SCEDF).
SCEDF Director Charlie Weaver explained that several trees need to be felled in three sites covering 32.8 acres in the industrial park and in order to economically rid the area of the timber debris it would be burned. The area left would be seeded with a portion left for greenspace and the other for economic development. Plans to expand industry and to create jobs is in the future thinking of the development foundation.
The permit suggests that the burning would take place over the course of 30 days.
IDEM has strict restrictions for the burn including the time of day and how to properly extinguish the fire for the day. The council members had questions about how big the burn piles would be and the overall effect smoke would have on the residents living near the area and in the city limits.
Weaver said he just received the permit information on Tuesday. Knox-Center Township Fire Chief Kenny Pfost learned about the permit during the council meeting and didn’t have a chance to review it.
After a lengthy discussion, the council decided to table the request until they receive more information from the contractor on the specific details of the burning process. Weaver said he will attempt to get a representative from Thomas Excavating to attend the May 13 meeting and a project engineer to give the council more information in order to move forward. The council members also want to wait to see what residents have to say about the proposed project before coming to a decision.