Oxford officials approve new contractors burn permit policy

Published 10:07 am Friday, March 10, 2017

Contractors developing land inside the city limits of Oxford will now be able to burn off debris on-site, rather than hauling it off to the landfill or dumping it on undeveloped land.

The Oxford Board of Aldermen approved the new burn permit policy Tuesday after the third reading of the ordinance change. A public hearing was held last month and no one spoke out in opposition to the new policy.

OFD Chief Mark Heath said several contractors and developers have recently inquired about burn permits and that burning on-site, if regulated, is the preferred method of disposing of debris.

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The new policy has specific regulations on how the burns will be done, what the contractors must do and it includes measures for noncompliance.

The proposed policy would require a 48-hour advance notice to schedule a permit inspection that comes with a $200 fee. After the permit is issued, there will be an inspection of the site. The permit would be good for 10 days unless an extension is granted if weather conditions prohibit burning.

No burning will take place during any burn bans issued by the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors or the Mississippi Department of Forestry.

Anyone burning without a permit, or done improperly, can be issued a cease and desist, and the fire will be extinguished. Contractors not following the city’s procedures can also be faced with a fine up to $500.

In other business Tuesday, the board:

•Approved converting some loading zone space on Tyler Avenue, between South Lamar Boulevard and South 14th Street to metered parking space. The spaces will remain loading zones from 8 a.m. to noon. After 12 p.m., the spaces will be available for parking and the meters will be activated.

•Adopted a no-protest resolution for General Obligation Bonds in an amount not to exceed $15 million for the construction of city facilities and infrastructure, which includes the Oxford Loop and Sisk Avenue extensions and possible future activity center addition.

•Heard the first reading of an ordinance change that would allow neighborhood enforcement officers to issue a citation to property owners where the grass is above 12 inches tall.