WIND, FIRE: On tap at BOC mtg

COLUMBIA CITY — Whitley County’s Board of Commissioners is scheduled to address two major issues today in its regular meeting — the county’s wind energy ordinance and the burn ban.After the Whitley County Plan Commission’s motion to approve changes did not carry with a majority vote at its last meeting, the proposed changes were not approved, with no motion made to reject them.The changes go back to the commissioners to decide whether or not they want to make changes to the ordinance.The commissioners proposed changes regarding setbacks of participating land owners and non-participating land owners to be set at a distance of 2,640 feet.The commissioners stated this change was proposed to further provide additional safety and health protection.Another topic that will be discussed at today’s meeting is the county-wide burn ban. After the county commissioners recently sent out an executive order to prohibit burning in the county, they will reassess that decision at today’s meeting.Since the commissioners prohibited burning, two storms have swept through the area, but the county may not have received enough rain to lift the burn ban for county residents. Like several area counties, Whitley County included personal fireworks in the ban and Columbia City has already postponed its annual public fireworks display.According to Commission chair Don Amber, the panel will hear a recommendation from the Whitley County Fire Chief’s Association, presented by Jim Bohnstedt, acting on behalf of WCFCA President Jeremy Hammel who is unavailable.