Monette City Council discussed the need for a dogcatcher to be on duty during daily working hours when they met Monday, Feb. 20. City Clerk Vickki Carroll presided over the meeting in the absence of Mayor Chub Qualls.
Current dogcatcher Bill Benham has duties during the day, as he is responsible for running city trash pick up route.
"We have had several complaints about dogs during the daytime," Alderman Tom Carroll said.
"If this is to be a paid position then we need someone to do it," Alderman Dick Pace said.
"Bill (Benham) said he can't catch the animals with a cage and a loop," Alderman Phillip Duffel said. "Many times he needs help on this, as it gets dark before he can catch the animals working alone. He usually does dogcatching after he gets off his city job. Also he has four kennels and when they are full he can't double pack them, so he can't pick up another animal.
"In order to be a licensed dogcatcher he will need his GED."
"He can't stop his garbage route to get a dog," Carroll said.
"If there is an issue with doing the job, he needs to address the council or mayor about it," Pace said.
"People are upset about the dog problem," Duffel said. "Perhaps he can come to the next council meeting and talk to us about it."
"I think he could leave the garbage truck and get a dog if necessary," Pace said.
"He also has to keep the pins up and cleans them every day," Duffel said. "This may be too much for one man. We may need to open a new position."
"He needs to visit with the Mayor and see if we need to explore other options," Pace said.
Alderman Pace announced the Oversight Committee had met and balanced the Water and Sewer Department records through December 2011. The council approved the report.
Alderman Bob Blankenship reported the new weather siren would be installed at the fire station on Saturday, which will provide four sirens for the city. Two sirens are located east and west of town and one is on the water tower.
Alderman Jason Stewart raised concern for the existing Animal Ordinance 2007-1, which does not allow city residents to keep livestock or farm animals inside the city limits.
"I think we need to re-look at this ordinance," Stewart said. "Many of our recently annexed residents live inside the city limits but are surrounded by farm land. Due to the rural nature and the recent 4-H project involvement, we need to modify our limitations. Many BIC school students are involved in livestock projects, and some of these are for short terms. Perhaps we could look at a certain amount of acreage or distance or proximity from neighbors. I would like for us to review this ordinance and see if there is anything we can do to help the students."
"Of course, this would not mean keeping a herd or high numerical values, but just school projects," Stewart said. "Hopefully this ordinance can be modified. I'm sure we could put our heads together and work out something. We might limit the number of animals per student, or such, and word the changes correctly. We don't want to open this up to commercial livestock but just allow parents and children to be able to take part in these school projects."
Jason Stewart, Tom Carroll and Phillip Duffel volunteered to serve on a study committee to review the ordinance and make potential modifications.
Ms. Carroll suggested the city think about potential street projects, looking at the major streets first. This suggestion was tabled until more evaluation could be made.
The council voted for Vickki Carroll and Dana McKuin's signatures to be approved for city checking accounts, along with the councilmen's names, should a need arise and the mayor be absent. Two signatures are required for issuing a check.
Alderman Blankenship reported no more information has been received in the payment from Monette Co-Op for water used to put out the large fire at the facility.
Alderman Duffel requested feedback on the acquisition of more city trash cans and payment of sanitation dues by newly annexed residents.
"We have a city ordinance giving us the authority to collect fees or to take legal action," Pace said. "They can be prosecuted by an attorney. We need to talk with other cities and see what they do."
The council tabled the issue until next month's meeting.
Guest Terry McNatt addressed the council concerning his candidacy for Craighead County treasurer.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be 7 p.m. Monday, March 19, at city hall.