Dangerous animal ordinance amended

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Caraway City Council reviewed the past year and discussed plans for 2010 at the Thursday, Jan. 21, council meeting.

Mayor Barry Riley gave the State of the City review at the beginning of the meeting.

Last Year's ice storm was listed as the number one problem for Caraway. Survival success was credited to hard work and cooperation of homeowners, residents, businesses, city employees, and county assistance. The city went on to experience four major breaks in the water system.

"Once we hit the cleanup stage of the ice storm this city was faced with shutting off all other services except for the water and sewer to rid the city streets of the debris that was left from the storm," Riley said. "The storm did spawn a new organization that would deal with setting up a shelter in case another tragic event were to occur. The organization which was made up of people from different churches, government, schools and other organizations was able to compile food, clothing and a place to shelter people should the need ever arise."

Riley listed retirement events for Park Commissioner Greg Douglas and Police Chief Jerry Vaughn in 2009. Annual events included the Fourth of July Celebration, Harvest Festival, and the Christmas Parade.

Basler Electric closed its doors, but five new businesses were started.

Three grants provided included: 1. A new truck purchased with money from a Recycling Grant; 2. The Cop Fast Grant allowed the purchase of new video equipment for police cars; 3. A GIF 1 grant allowed the construction of the Main Street Park, with gazebo, fencing, sod, swings, lights and a city clock.

After the 2009 review, the council adopted the 2010 budget by passing Ordinance 2010-1, on the third reading.

Search and Rescue Director Jerry Stokes addressed the council and asked for financial assistance in purchasing equipment and repair of a generator.

"We desperately need new life jackets and repair of one of our two generators," Stokes said. "We estimate it will take about $1,500. We have been able to make money to keep us going during the Fourth of July Celebration. This year we have had added expenses, which has put us in a bind."

Mayor Riley and council members agreed that the help was warranted and agreed to contribute $1,600 for life jackets, spotlights, radios, GPS equipment and repair of generator.

Alderman Roger Bell requested equipment be locked up and necessary keys be guarded. One key to the equipment will be kept at the Police Station, in case of emergency.

The council passed Ordinance 2010-2 to amend Ordinance 2004-4, which defined the meaning of "Dangerous Animal." The original ordinance listed a dangerous animal as one that threatens or attacks human beings, and the new amendment adds other animals to the listing. The ordinance also lists animals that have previously inflicted bodily harm to human beings or other animals without provocation.

"We have addressed this issue before," Mayor Riley said. "The attacks on humans and animals by dangerous and vicious dogs have increased. This is a risk to the peace, health and safety of our citizens. The ordinance will be enforced immediately."

Cemetery mowing contracts were discussed for the second month but no agreement was reached. The four months of the mowing season are estimated to cost about $3,000.

"The lack of detailing around the stones has upset many of our people," Councilman Diane Powell said. "I know this is difficult. Some weeks the men can work on it and some weeks they can't."

"The mowing guards have been put back on the lawnmowers and that should keep the grass from blowing onto the stones," Terry Couch said.

"We may need to hire other workers to help, as this is a priority for everyone in town," Riley said. "We may have to bid the contract out."

"This is very costly for the city," Councilman Mark Bell said. "We need to make the decision when all of our council members are here (two were absent)."

The decision was tabled until the February meeting.

Councilman Powell thanked Terry Couch and all the city employees for their hard work during the water breaks earlier this month.

"We have had three breaks in three months," Riley said. "We all appreciate the hard work by the city employees. There will be more expenses coming up with the pouring of more concrete. We have to get it done."

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, at city hall.

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