Coming on the heels of the state-issued burn ban being lifted, the Duncan City Council could alter its process for open burning to make it more lenient.
During Tuesday’s regular meeting, the council will consider modifying the permitting process or granting a variance to the ordinance to allow for a controlled burning on a property smaller than established in the current city code.
The City of Duncan received a request from Norman Lewis, who lives in the 3300 block of Elk Avenue to allow him to do a controlled burn. The city code was revised in 2009, to allow controlled burning on tracts of land 10 acres or larger. The Lewis property is 5.2 acres within the Duncan city limits.
Lewis has cleared and prepped the site to conduct a controlled burn. This meets with all of the city ordinances except the code requiring a tract of land at least 10 acres.
This means, according to the city code relating to controlled burns, Lewis has applied for a burn permit and his property is at least 500 feet away from the nearest residence or business structure.
The city council revised the controlled burn section of the city code in 2009, following a rash of wildfires across the State of Oklahoma.
According to a memo by City Manager Jim Frieda, “Some of these fires were directly contributed to controlled burns that quickly became uncontrolled, resulting in loss of property of both the tract owner and that of the surrounding owners.
“With the requirement of having 10 acres or more to burn, the city drastically reduced the amount of controlled burns occurring within its limits, thereby providing an additional level of protection from a controlled burn becoming uncontrolled.”
The request from Lewis keeps in step with state and county burn codes, which up until recently wouldn’t allow for burning from several counties in the state.
On Oct. 4, Gov. Mary Fallin lifted a burn ban on 33 counties, including Stephens County. This came only days after the burn ban had been lifted over 22 other counties.
Without a statewide burn ban in place, activities such as controlled burning are left up to the municipalities and counties. Stephens County does not have a burn ban in place.
According to the Oklahoma Forestry Service website, there are no county burn bans in place. Because Fallin no longer has a state-issued burn ban in place, it is up to the counties whether to establish a burn ban.
The Duncan City Council will meet at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday in the Duncan Council Chambers to discuss this item and several other items.
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Duncan students set on inclement weather time
So far, Duncan students won’t have to make up any school days missed because of inclement weather.
For several years, the Duncan School District has based its calendar on an hourly schedule instead of a set number of days. This means the school district has to have 1,080 hours of instructional time, as opposed to make sure students are in class 175 days each school year.
“We go more than 1,080 hours,” Labyer said. “As long as we have 1,080 hours, the schools don’t have to make those days up.”
Duncan area Realtors honored at luncheon
Duncan Association of Realtors celebrated those who have made 2013 Christmas Luncheon, including a father and son duo.
Grant Perkins had the pleasure of passing the presidential gavel to his father Keith Perkins this year. Both men also received prestigious awards during the annual event Wednesday afternoon at First Christian Church.
Grant was named the 2013 Realtor of the Year. A Duncan native, Grant is the third generation of Perkins to work for Perkins Insurance and Realty.
Velma’s holiday activities rescheduled
When a winter storm blew in last week it caused several area events to be canceled and rescheduled, including Velma’s Christmas Parade.
After City of Velma officials met Tuesday, they decided to reschedule most of the town’s holiday activities. The Christmas Parade will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21 on Main Street, with lineup beginning at 10 a.m. at the east of town near the E&S Feed Store.
DMS to establish sixth-grade athletics program
In an effort to instill more school spirit in its sixth-graders, Duncan Middle School is working to establish a sixth-grade athletics program.
During Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Duncan Board of Education, Rodney Calhoun, Duncan Public Schools assistant superintendent, talked to board members about the program and the goals associated with sixth-grade athletics. Calhoun said the biggest expense schools accrue while establishing a sixth-grade program is the cost of equipment. He said the Duncan Middle School has plenty of excess equipment to be used for the sixth-grade program.
“Last week, Ponca City launched a sixth-grade program,” Calhoun said. “They spent $200,000 on equipment.”
Deadline Friday for Santa letters
The deadline for getting letters in Santa’s Mailbox, a partnership between the Jolly ‘ol Man and The Duncan Banner, is 5 p.m. Friday.
Saturday to offer plenty of holiday celebrations
If you are still recovering from cabin fever, Saturday is the perfect cure with several events to keep your family busy all day long.
Starting the day off right is Boy Scout Troop 4434’s annual Pancake Breakfast from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church. Freshly made pancakes, bacon, sausage and refreshments are all part of what a ticket will get you at this tasty event.
City tackles winter weather
Throughout the recent cold front and accompanying precipitation, the City of Duncan has worked to make streets driveable and to repair leaking water mains.
Scott Vaughn, Duncan Public Works director, said Street and Water departments have been busy throughout the city as a result of colder temperatures, and recent snowfall and freezing rain.
School board discusses DHS safe room project
Duncan Public Schools is considering a bond issue for as early as 2014, to construct a safe room/ art building on the Duncan High School campus.
During Tuesday’s regular meeting, members of the Duncan Board of Education approved hiring PBK Architect for design and development, and CMS Willowbrook as construction manager for the project, pending passage of a bond issue next year.
Reception honors Hospice patients
Proceeds go to help pay for care terminal patients and their families receive from Chisholm Trail Hospice.
Daddy Daughter Dance set for Friday
There are only a few days left to purchase tickets for the 3rd annual Daddy Daughter Dance.
Tickets are limited to only 100 couples and 25 additional daughters to avoid overcrowding for the event, which is sponsored by the Simmons Center. The dance is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Simmons Center.
“We’ve sold 75 couples and 16 additional daughters,” said Stephanie Sullivan, event coordinator, on Tuesday morning.
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