Vicious dogs gets McKenzie council members’ attention

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McKenzie Council members passed three ordinances on the first of two required readings on the Feb. 10 agenda that dealt with vicious dogs, the failure to appear in court for violations of city property codes and ordinances, and made changes in the zoning map.

The term vicious dog was described in four different definitions in the ordinance. In one of the meanings, it was described as any dog which because of its size, physical nature, or vicious propensity is capable of inflicting serious physical harm or death to humans if it were not kept in the manner required by the ordinance.

Council member Charles Pruneau said how a dog is supposed to be confined sounded a little strict to him.

The ordinance says the pen or structure must have secure sides and a secure top attached to the sides. In addition, if the pen has no bottom secured to the sides, the sides must be embedded into the ground no less than one foot, must be adequately lighted and kept in a clean and sanitary condition.

“The dogs are going underneath the pen,” said police chief Craig Moates. “They are not as secure in a kennel as they need to be.”

The ordinance also says that within 30 days of the effective date of this ordinance, proof must be provided the city of public liability insurance in the amount of at least $100,000. This insures the owner is responsible for any personal injuries inflicted by his or her vicious dog. This ordinance will undergo a second reading on March 10.

The ordinance was copied from other towns who have a similar ordinance.

“The city is trying to be proactive and protect our citizenry,” said Mayor Jill Holland.

On the ordinance concerning a defendant who fails to appear in city court,  the city judge can enter a judgment against the defendant with a new citation for failure to appear. The defendant is entitled to a hearing on the charge before the $50 fine is assessed. In those situations, the defendant has a separate citation pending in the court to which court costs and litigation taxes may be attached.

The second reading will be held March 10.

Several changes were made to the city’s zoning map that city planner Shelton Merrill will have to approve before the second reading on March 10.

The ordinance says that parcels 88.00,88.23 and 88.24 will  rezoned from Planned Business to B-2 Highway Business. Tax Map 011 will be changed from Planned Business to R-1 Low Density Residential. A parcel on Hospital Drive will be changed from Hospital Medical to Light Industrial M-1.

Council  members also approved a resolution to support restoring the revenue sharing relationship between the state and local governments.

Specifically mentioned in the resolution is the sales tax that is not being shared as in the past. When the state increased the state sales tax rate from 6 percent to 7 percent in 2002, the state chose not to share a portion of the sales tax revenues generated by the increase with the cities of the state.

In other business, council members:

* Were given an update on the leaf vacuum. The mayor said that a representative of the Old Dominion Co. will call with a price. She also mentioned that the one the city now uses may can be fixed.

• Approved Daniel Hollowed as a new member of the Industrial Development Board.

• Recognized former council member Jason Martin who resigned after moving from his ward.

• Agreed to accept bids for a new rooftop HVAC for city hall. The mayor said the heating unit has gone out. Bids will be opened on Feb. 23 with the committee selected to review them to make the final decision. It is expected to cost between $8,000 and $10,000.

• Awarded a bid for installation of sewer lines on Hwy. 22 South to KT Construction for $6,835. Others submitting bids were Graves Plumbing for $8,500 and A & A Plumbing for $7,000.

• Awarded a bid for turnout gear for the fire department to NAFCO for $15,600.34.

• Heard the police chief report that calls for service during Jan. were 1,208 with 21 responses made by the fire department during this period.

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