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Harrisville to take no action on outdoor wood furnaces

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HARRISVILLE — A small sampling of village residents indicated they are not very concerned about outdoor wood-burning furnaces.

Village officials sent a survey in October to about 300 residents seeking their input about regulating outdoor wood furnaces. It was sent with water bills and was available on the village website.

Only about 20 responses were received, village Trustee William F. Kellerhals Jr. said, but that indicated that “it appears no one has a problem, so the board agreed to not do anything at this time.”

Resident James Smith raised the issue at the Sept. 10 board of trustees meeting. According to the minutes, he questioned whether the village had guidelines for the devices or just went by state Department of Environmental Conservation regulations. He said “the village should have some guidelines especially related to the height of the stack and the time of the year it is being used.”

Mr. Smith said he had had problems with nearby wood furnaces that can be offensive, especially in the warmer months when windows are open.

The survey asked about residents’ personal experiences with neighbors’ or their own outdoor furnaces and whether the village should impose restrictions.

Mr. Kellerhals said the surveys received indicated burning the wood furnaces in the summer did cause breathing problems for some and if village regulations were created, chimney height should be considered.

He said the board still would be interested if residents had complaints but encouraged them to contact DEC or the Lewis County code enforcement for action on violations.

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