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City Council Debates Container Ordinance

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/citycounci_1055.mp3

The Springfield City Council has announced its latest plans regarding the use and placement of shipping-sized storage containers. The Council met at noon to discuss stipulations of the ordinance, and how much longer it should postpone its enactment. KSMU's Megan Keathley reports.

The City Council's Community Involvement Committee has decided not to lift its administrative delay on the storage container ordinance.

According to a statement released by Mayor Pro Tem Gary Deaver, the need for large storage container regulations arose almost two years ago. Some of these containers are used by retailers to hold excess inventory. Others are used by private residents for personal belongings. Two years ago, the Springfield Fire Dept. reported that several storage containers were blocking fire lanes, gas valve cutoffs, and fire-fighting water hookups throughout Springfield. Since then, Deaver maintains, many of these safety concerns have been dealt with accordingly. Councilman Dan Chiles says that storage container owners continue to abide by current laws.

There is still some debate as to how much the city should regulate the use and placement of such containers. Deaver says in his statement that the proposed ordinance was flawed. He says it was intimidating in its length and needlessly attempted to register storage containers in industrial areas." Chiles also believes that the drafted ordinance is regulatory overkill, especially for distributors who have worked hard to cooperate.

Deputy City Manager Evelyn Honea believes that the issue is relevant enough to discuss again at later meetings, and that the administrative delay on the ordinance should proceed as planned until the eleventh of September.

Members of the committee agreed not to make a motion at this time, but to wait for more information and observe the situation until projected summer meetings. At that time, the committee will consider an additional one-year delay period for enforcement of the ordinance, following the ending of the current administrative delay in the fall.