Mayor: Roll In The 9th St. Fire Barrels

Posted: December 08, 1990

Mayor Goode has extinguished an attempt to once again allow Italian Market merchants to burn wood in barrels to keep warm, but City Councilman James Tayoun has vowed that he won't let the decades-old practice go up in smoke.

Two weeks ago Council approved a Tayoun-sponsored ordinance to allow fire- barrels to continue burning on Ninth Street between Wharton and Christian,

from Oct. 1 to April 30.

The city banned the practice last December. Since then many merchants have disregarded the ban.

Goode vetoed Tayoun's ordinance Thursday, saying the barrels pose a fire and pollution hazard and violated state and federal fire codes.

"Exempting the Italian Market area from the provisions of the code would

allow a serious fire hazard to exist in an area where the buildings are old and in close proximity to each other, the streets are congested, and once ignited a fire has the potential to spread rapidly," Goode said in his veto letter to Council.

Tayoun said he plans to ask Council to override the mayor's veto at its Thursday meeting.

Meanwhile, Tayoun says he hopes his colleagues will pass another bill he introduced last month changing the fire code to permit burning in the Italian Market.

"It's obvious to me that Ninth Street can literally be put out of business," Tayoun said. "It's been allowed for 50-odd years. All of a sudden it's not legal. That doesn't make sense."

Harry Crimi, president of the Italian Market Businessmen's Association and owner of Cappuccio's meat market on Ninth Street, agreed.

"It's going to put a lot of these small businessmen out of business," Crimi said of the veto. "How are they going to work outside when it's 20 to 15 degrees?"

Crimi said Goode's veto would have the most impact on fruit and produce vendors, who make up about one-third of the Ninth Street vendors and who sell outdoors during the winter.

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