By Daniel Pepper
Otsego city commissioners have voted to ban any more wood-fired boilers within the city limits.
The board approved a new ordinance after a second reading at a Monday, March 29, regular meeting. The boilers are outdoor wood furnaces that heat homes through hot water. The way they burn at a lower temperature than a conventional wood stove creates a particulate that can settle and bother nearby neighbors.
City manager Thad Beard said he thought this was the more honest way of prohibiting the boilers.
“Some communities ban by regulating,” Beard said. “They make the requirements so stringent that they functionally can’t be in the city.”
The Otsego ordinance, he said, bans further boilers being built, but doesn’t force anyone who has one now to get rid of it.
“It doesn’t call out to remove those that currently placed, but if they are dismantled, they couldn’t be rebuilt,” Beard said.
Previously, he said the city had at least one wood-fired boiler being used and that city hall had gotten complaints about the particulate.
Commissioners voted 4-0 to ban the boilers, with Commissioner Molly Wieber absent and excused from the meeting