After sitting on the back burner for a month the issue over burning leaves in Winnebago County is over for the time being. The board voted 13 to 12 to allow limited burning in unincorporated areas. To no one’s surprise there were mixed feelings about the decision by both board members and the public.
There will be a one mile buffer zone around Rockford, Loves Park and Pecatonica where burning is still not allowed in unincorporated areas. Jim Webster headed up the solid waste subcommittee responsible for the plan.
Some feel the county board is placing convenience higher on their priority list than public safety. They believe burning puts pollutants into the air that can adversely affect those who have upper respiratory problems. Others say burning actually helps public health by destroying hazardous mold that grows in leaf piles.
For now the issue is settled but if history is any indication, this issue will smolder for a while, and then flare up in the near future.