Council bans Pit Bull Terriers, Rottweilers and Doberman Pinchers

Friday, May 21, 2004
Assistant Caraway Fire Chief, Bo James, congratulates newly elected Fire Chief, Barry Riley.

The Caraway City Council met in regular session, on May 13, and worked through a lengthy agenda consisting of amending one ordinance, passing two resolutions, and promoting a police officer.

The council discussed amending Section 9-A of Ordinance 1987-3, concerning dogs in the city. Ordinance 2004-03 bans certain dogs from being kept in the City of Caraway, which includes Pit Bull Terriers, Rottweilers, and Doberman Pinchers.

Police Chief Jerry Vaughn addressed recent situations where dogs have attacked people in the city.

"We have had some dog bites in the last few months, from dangerous dogs,'" said Caraway Mayor Joe South. "Some of the dogs may be pets, but pets can turn on their owners and the owner's children. If people would keep the dogs in a pen or on a leash, there would have been no need for a new ordinance."

South referred to a recent newspaper article, written by a postman, declaring the dogs an actual and potential damage to preserving peace and safety.

"Some of these dogs are not vicious," said alderman Johnny Boatman. "That (the attack) could be any dog. Some people already own these dogs and keep them fenced up."

"This is the same ordinance used by the rest of the county, concerning these dogs," said Mayor South.

"We have had several problems with these dogs already," said Vaughn. "Four or five years ago a Rottweiler broke his chain and attacked a kid. These three types of dogs can turn so quickly.

"I am concerned about the elderly and children, who are so defenceless," said Alderman Mike Vaughn.

"I'd hate to see someone die before we do something about them," said Jerry Vaughn.

"If we don't do something, we could be liable for not protecting our people," said Mayor South.

"The reason for the ban, is that the dogs that are here now are giving us problems," said Jerry Vaughn. "To many problems with these three breeds of dogs. Kids can't ride down the street without the dogs chasing them. People are scared to death, to even go out to their mail box. We have had problems getting out of the jeep, for fear of attack."

The council passed Ordinance 2004-03, with a 3-2 vote, banning all Pit Bull Terriers, Rottweilers, and Doberman Pinchers. Voting against the ordinance were aldermen Johnny Boatman and Curtis Taylor.

"We need to give people a few days to get rid of their dogs, before we pick them up," said Jerry Vaughn. "They need about 10 days to relocate them."

The council passed resolution 2004-1 authorising the Mayor and city Recorder/Treasurer (Rickey Stevens) to accept the bids, on behalf of the city, and enter into a contract with Building and Utility Contractors, of Redfield, AR, for the purpose of extending the sewer system.

Bids were taken on April 28, for sewer work west and north of town.

The council approved Loan Resolution 2004-2 accepting the grant money from Rural Development. The westward sewer project was over budget and the city was granted $128,000 additional funding, to complete the job. The northward sewer project was able to stay within budget with the removal of the last two people on the service list.

Bob Chatman, architect for Miller Newell, was on hand to answer questions from the council, concerning the sewer project and funding.

Council members inquired about the feasibility of completing the west portion of the project first.

"They usually start with the deeper work, if it is dry enough, and we have requested that the west side be completed first," said Chatman. "We will try to work through this."

The council approved the recommendation by the Parks Committee to fill two committee vacancies. Larry Mason will replace Don Orr and Glen Austin will replace Tom Bagley.

"What about fireworks this year, at the fourth of July picnic?" asked alderman Boatman. "I have heard that there would not be fireworks this year."

"I don't know about that," said South. "I know fireworks are expensive, but the last financial report from the committee stated that they had $5,700 in their treasury.'

"It may be time for a new park commission, if they don't have fireworks, as it is a big draw to our picnic," said Alderman Ronnie Brooks.

"Is the city going to donate money on the fireworks?" asked Bernard Berry.

"That is up to the city council," said South.

An audience member asked Berry if the Lion's Club planned to donate.

"When we turned this (fireworks) over to the Park Committee, then we ceased to donate," said Berry.

"We need to find out about it," said Boatman.

The mayor agreed to write a letter to the committee requesting an updated financial report and statement about the fireworks.

Mayor South reported on the fence at the ball field.

"We took bids on all parks projections back in the fall, then we rebid it," said South. "Bids were $19,738 for installing the fence and building the dugouts."

The council approved the bid from United Fence and Construction, of North Little Rock.

Bids for the safe room will be opened on Tuesday, May 18, at 11 a.m.

Mayor South read a letter of resignation from Fire Chief Curtis Taylor, effective April 19, 2004.

"Curtis (Taylor) is working six days a week now, and stated that he did not have time to devote to fire chief, as is needed,'" South said. "He will remain as an active member of the fire department."

The council expressed their appreciation to Taylor and accepted his resignation.

"The fire department has elected Barry Riley, as their new Fire Chief," said South. "I have talked to Barry and he is willing to work in that capacity."

The council approved Barry Riley as the new city Fire Chief, and welcomed him.

Mayor South announced that a new printer has been purchased for use in the Water and Sewer Department, for $1,259, which will be able to print cards and statements.

"This is a first class printer, and we needed it," said South.

Mayor South announced that the city tornado siren had been repaired, with the help of city employees and lift trucks, at a cost of $1,300. Plans are to test it on Friday or Saturday.

The council approved the change in the June council meeting, from June 10 to June 7, beginning at 6 p.m.

The council went into executive session to discuss the recommendation for a raise for police officer Chris Kelems.

After a brief executive session the council reconvened to promote Kelems to Sergeant and Warrant Officer, with the possibility of pay increase at a later date.

"The amount of raise was not set, but will be considered and decided later," said South.

The council discussed changing locations for the garbage pickup and city cleanup, in the future.

"We hauled off 3 30-yard dumpsters, and 11 trailer loads of old appliances and junk during the pickup," said South. "I take full responsibility for choosing the site (near the park) and agree that we need to consider moving it next time."

Alderman Taylor requested that the small white truck, owned by the city, be fixed and used for dragging the fields at the park and hauling trash.

The council also discussed cleaning up the park.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: