The Effingham City Council has approved their membership with the Effingham Regional Growth Alliance. By joining the group the Council agrees to pay $50,000 in membership dues. The Regional Growth Alliance is made up of 60 members, and has seen its assets grow to over $500,000. The groups works to support the local economy by supporting businesses and organizations throughout the area. They plan name a president in the near future. This will be the first paid position within the group.
The Council also discussed an amendment to the City’s municipal code that would restrict open burning of landscape waste to Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays only. The discussed ordinance makes exceptions for recreational and culinary-related fires. The ordinance would also allow the Fire Chief to restrict open burning when environmental or local circumstances warrant doing so. Dr. Ryan Jennings of St. Anthony’s Hospital spoke before the council, explaining that adding the restriction to certain days will improve the health of the community. Jennings said the burning yard waste hurts the most vulnerable people in the community – children and the elderly. He called the plan a reasonable compromise. This amendment was only a discussion item at Tuesday’s meeting, with a vote possible at the council’s May 17th meeting.