The Grove City Council passed an ordinance banning open burning without a permit within the corporate city limits at a regular meeting Tuesday night.

Ordinance #560 passed unanimously. Citizens of Grove will now be required to obtain a permit from the fire department before burning leaves or other materials in their yards.

The ordinance also states that people may not burn substances containing contaminates that “affect the ambient quality” of the city’s air.

In response to questions raised by Planning and Zoning Chairman Judith Read, City Manager Bruce Johnson said Fire Chief Lee Dollarhide would determine what constitutes a threat to the city’s air quality.

“(Things that cannot be burned) would include all types of household trash or treated lumber or any oil-based products,” Johnson said.

Read said in the past open burning has always just been arranged with a phone call to the fire department and she didn’t see why that should change now.

Johnson responded that it has become necessary for the city to have a written record in case a fire gets out of control and causes damage.

Dollarhide added that only about one resident in 15 calls the fire department to inform them of controlled burns.

The permits will be available from the fire department at no cost.

Anyone who doesn’t comply with the ordinance may be fined up to $500 plus court costs.

In other business, the council, during an executive session, discussed a settlement agreement between BRB Contractors, Inc., the City of Grove, and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT).

After coming out of executive session, the council agreed to settle with BRB and ODOT.

BRB Contractors, Inc. had been hired to accomplish the utility relocation project that was part of the widening of U.S. Highway 59.

When the project was completed, the company’s final charge to the city was around 400 percent higher than the initial bid.

The settlement will require the city to come up with an additional $483,377.64, considerably less than BRB had asked for. The original bid was for $2,358,148.25, and the settlement was for $2,841,525.79.

In addition, the council approved a resolution authorizing an application for financial assistance from the Rural Economic Action Plan Fund. The resulting grant will be used to finance an expansion of the water spray park behind Rotary Park at the Grove Sports Complex.

The council also approved a contract by and between the Oklahoma Arts Council and the city, which will provide $5,000 for the Playmakers.

Grove City Council meets in Room 5 at the Grove Community Center, 104 W. Third Street, on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.