Caraway Council tables dog banning ordinance

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Caraway City Council members discussed plans for the 2004 Fourth of July celebration at the regular Monday, June 7 meeting.

"The cost to order fireworks for the 2003 celebration was $3,292, and this year will be $3,410," Caraway Mayor Joe South said. "Basically it has stayed the same. We will need to appropriate funds for the payment of both years, as last years was never paid."

The council approved funds to pay the cost of fireworks for both years totaling $6,702.

An emergency was declared and Ordinance 2004-4 was placed on all three readings, passing with a 5-0 vote. The ordinance amended Ordinance 2003-3 and 2003-5, which authorized the issuance of the City's Water and Sewer Revenue Bond, Series 2003.

The council discussed the dog banning ordinance, passed on the first reading, during the May 13 council meeting.

Councilman John Boatman moved to change the wording for the ban to read "vicious dogs," instead of "certain dogs."

"We had a child bit by a dog last night," said Police Chief Jerry Vaughn. "Is this still going to be in effect the same as last month? Can they keep dogs of those mentioned? We have had kids bit and older people."

"All of the dogs are not bad dogs," said Boatman.

"If the ordinance we had in place earlier was enforced, we wouldn't have this problem," said South. "Everyone is concerned about keeping our city safe."

"I think we need to table this to give us more time to get with the Quorum Court and see what they have passed," said Alderman Roger Williams.

"Our attorney said last month's ordinance may not be worth the paper it was written on," South said.

"If the county has banned pit-bulls, then we are covered, as we are in the county," Vaughn said.

"I think we need to table this until we can find out more information," South said. "We can also talk more to our city attorney about it."

The city received one bid, $227,000, on building their safe room. Only $102,000 had been budgeted to build it.

"I have asked Chatman to go back and see if something can be cut out in order to stay within our budget," South said. "That would put us too far over budget."

"It won't end up very big," Williams said.

South reported that the storm sirens were out again, and didn't even make it through the first day of testing.

"It appears that we are just throwing money out the window, to keep fixing the siren," South said. "We may need to look at buying a new one, perhaps with a battery back-up."

"We are jeopardizing our equipment and guys when we have to go around and warn people," Bo James said.

"We will look and see what is available," South said.

The contract for city garbage disposal service will be up in July. The council voted to take bids for trash disposal.

"Last month we promoted Chris Kelems to Sergeant and Warrant Officer without issuing him a raise," South said. "With his added duties, I recommend that we increase his salary $20 per week. I think we should also increase Troy Kelems salary by $10 per week. All officers work warrants, but Chris is willing to get more involved. There has been a difference in pay for several years."

"I don't want this to cause hard feelings," Williams said. "Jerry (Vaughn) do you recommend the raise?"

"I recommend the raise for Chris," said Vaughn. "And give Troy what you can."

"This does close the gap between Chris and Troy," said Alderman Larry Brooks.

The raise goes into effect May 13, the night of the council meeting.

"The other annual raises come due in July," South said. "I want us to look at a fair increase for city employees, either percentage our hourly."

The council heard questions from guests present concerning regular reports from the Parks Commission and cemetery road and cemetery maintenance.

Mayor South reported that the city has plans to work at the cemetery soon with help from the county.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be at 6 p.m. July 8, at City Hall.

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