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home : news : news Friday, June 24, 2016

12/21/2013 Email this articlePrint this article 
Grand Mound slates hearing on pit bull ordinance

Sarah Beuthien

Louise Ringen of Cherokee's Bar and Grill attended the December meeting of the Grand Mound City Council to ask the status of a project for which she had donated money for several years back.

In the fall of 2009 Ringen held a hog roast at the community center with all proceeds ($550) going towards the purchase of welcome signs for the city.

At the time, council members and members of the community planned on working on the pricing and possibly applying for grants, but the project found its way to the back burner.

Ringen asked the money be returned if the council does not plan on purchasing new signs. She was assured the money has been in a separate fund, and the council agreed to add this item to the agenda for its annual budget meeting Jan. 9, at 6 p.m.

Bobby Walther returned to the council meeting for the second month in a row. He asked council to reconsider ordinances regarding junk vehicles, unlicensed vehicles and angle parking.

Walther wanted to know why angle parking is not allowed at his residence since he has a large boulevard. Council members explained angle parking is allowed only in designated areas and is meant to help with safety for people seeing around vehicles.

In regard to moving his vehicle to prevent it from being considered a junk vehicle, the ordinance states the vehicle needs to be moved once every 30 days.

Council member Chris Beuthien said even if he only drives the car around the block, that would be sufficient. Council also informed Walther the area beneath the car needs to be maintained.

Kylie Mackie also addressed the council. Mackie had attended the November meeting to ask about the city's pit-bull ordinance.

Mackie owns two pit bulls and would like the council to consider changing the current ordinance so as not to single out pit bulls but to leave it at vicious dogs.

Council members told Mackie the law is made to protect the well being of all residents, but members of the audience expressed concern singling out the breed is discrimination.

Attorney Dave Pillers noted the ordinance was in effect when they purchased the home they reside in. Mackie agreed but said he was not aware of the ordinance.

The council agreed to hold a public hearing before the next council meeting for public input in regard to changing the ordinance to eliminate the pit-bull breed. The public hearing will be held Jan. 13, at 6:45 p.m.

Council members stated they do not see a need to change the existing city code about open burning restrictions, citing no problems were observed.

Last month, resident Scott Butt asked for and was granted a refund of a bill he received regarding his water service box being replaced. The council wanted to look into whether the city or the resident should be responsible for this. It was decided to keep the code section the same, making it the resident's responsibility to maintain. Council advised maintenance man Steve Kilburg and city clerk Conner to inform a resident before such repairs are made.

A proposed tank evaluation by Tank Industry Consultants Inc. was tabled. The council would like to discuss the evaluation as well as hear from council member Darrell Warren, who was not present for the meeting.

Employee year-end bonuses were approved. Full-time employees will receive $150, and the part-time employee will receive $100.

The oath of office was administered to reelected mayor, Dan Behr, and council members Tami Guy, Kurt Crosthwaite and Chris Beuthien.

City attorney Pillers advised the council if it decides to provide money to the committee for the recently restored fire house for use with the building, they can do so by making a donation and do not need to make it a line item in the budget.

Last month the community center board asked if the city would consider paying for the utilities for the community center, citing dwindling funds. After some discussion council is wondering if it would be best to take ownership of the building.

The city currently pays for the insurance on the building and has invested funds to help install a generator so the building can be used as an emergency shelter. Council member Guy and Sarah Beuthien, a board member of the community center, were asked how the community center board would feel about the suggestion; they will report back before the city's budget meeting.

Kilburg asked for direction about an abandoned car near the insurance company; council advised him to report it to the sheriff's office.

The sheriff's office reported 58.43 hours logged in the city Oct. 26-Nov. 25. A warning was issued for failing to obey a stop sign; an incident of criminal mischief was handled and 10 calls were answered including check area, disturbance, suspicious activity, parking violation, ambulance call, suspicious vehicle, fight in progress and extra patrol.

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