By Herb Meeker

News Report Staff

Open burning in Teutopolis has been reduced to three days per week for helping some residents with breathing problems.

Burning of yard waste, including leaves, will be restricted from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays throughout the year. This action taken by the Teutopolis Village Board last week is similar to open burning rule changes in the city of Effingham.

This change to the village ordinance comes after village officials considered a recent request to help reduce the health risks from smoke on outdoor burning. In addition, the change could help residents wishing for clear air on days with pleasant weather for drying clothes on the line or leaving the windows open for fresh air.

The village already had rules against burning of trash, wood or other man-made products outdoors and those restrictions will remain in place. Though some might argue for no burning whatsoever in the village, the new rule does clear the air for three days.

The Village Trustees also approved a $358,874 contract with A.J. Walker from Mattoon for street and storm sewer work in Prairie View Subdivision. It was pointed out this contract might require a change order to cover extra costs since a discussion revealed the bid specifications were a little short on the street sections covered for the work. Walker offered the lowest of five bids on the project in the south side subdivision that is approaching the first phase of home construction.

The vote was unanimous for the contract with board members Dan Zerrusen, Kenny Esker, Joe Schumacher and Greg Oseland answering roll call. Trustees John Mette and Dave Tegeler were absent during last Wednesday’s meeting.

The board also approved the Ameren utility proposal for extending electric service to part of the Prairie View subdivision. Two agreements with Ameren for electric and natural gas service there total $137,803 for hooking up future homes under the utility’s coverage area.

The rest of Prairie View homeowners will be served by Norris Electric, which only offers electrical hookups. The utilities have specific areas for coverage in Teutopolis.

There was also a discussion on drainage concerns regarding the new subdivision. Oseland asked about rules on housing elevations that could back up rainfall into neighboring lots. In addition, the board approved termination of a purchase agreement on a subdivision lot as requested by the applicant. Arrangements have been made to sell that to another party.

In other business, the board heard of complaints regarding drainage cleanup practices after storms when leaves or other debris are piled up. Esker said the debris should be collected and hauled away.