Animal ordinance receives another look

Opinions were split at Tuesday night’s council meeting over the subject of keeping animals inside the city.

Auxvasse City Council members reviewed the current city ordinance which prohibits citizens “to own or keep” farm animals inside the city limits. Some comments were made about amending the ordinance to allow certain animals, with restrictions on numbers and how the animals could be kept. Councilwoman Stephanie Leverett said she thought if regulations were followed, a few chickens or such would be acceptable.

Assistant Auxvasse Chief of Police Charlie Anderson said he spoke with Police Chief Kevin Suedmeyer about a possible change to the ordinance, as law enforcement officials are the ones to enforce city ordinances.

“We prefer the ordinance to stay as is,” Anderson told the council.

“I agree 100 percent on that,” Mayor Kevin Phares said.

Anderson went on to explain that without a full-time animal control official, the current ordinance is enough to keep up with. He said the police department currently receives plenty of calls and complaints about dogs and cats on the loose and used to receive more complaints when the city allowed other animals.

“We feel (an amendment’s) probably going to create more issues than it will solve,” he said.

Councilman Terry Walker suggested the issue be tabled until a public hearing could be held, so the council could receive comments from citizens about their preferences. The hearing was set for April 26, after the elections, at a time when all the council seats would be filled.

Council members decided to amend the current city ordinance on fireworks to allow them to be sold, purchased and discharged inside city limits during certain days of the year. Matching state standards, the dates of June 20 to July 10 were chosen for the summer and Dec. 20 to Jan. 2 for New Year’s. The changes will be drawn up so the council can review them during the next meeting.

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