Council passes ordinance on animal confinement

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The subject of dogs has been the topic of several conversations around Trumann lately, from the concern for stray dogs to the care of pet dogs in the summer heat. At the Trumann City Council meeting on Tuesday night, July 15, Mayor Sheila Walters addressed both concerns.

Walters presented an ordinance concerning the care maintenance of dogs as pets within the city that prohibits improper confinement, including the tethering of dogs. The ordinance included giving dogs proper access to water, restrictions on outdoor dog pens, restrictions on tethering dogs for the purpose of confinement, and restrictions on the use of trolley systems.

The only opposition to the ordinance was by alderman Jason Stewart. Stewart's only concern was with the emergency clause on an ordinance that could affect too many citizens without notice.

"It's a situation where you have those who do take care of their dogs on a tether, and then you have those who do not," Stewart said.

Animal Control Officer Cory Overstreet said he is aware of Stewart's concern and will keep it in mind when making judgment.

Walters also gave an update on the new pound to be opened by the first of August. Whereas the current pound is not accessible to civilians, she said the new one will be animal and people friendly.

Another big topic of discussion at the council meeting was an ordinance to replace the re-use plan of the Trumann Industrial Development Commission with a plan that reflects the current economic development needs and meets the auditing requirements of the city.

The ordinance reads: " The Trumann Industrial Development Commission desires to promote economic development through a position under the direction of the Trumann Industrial Commission and City Administration..."

Alderman Ted Walker requested to know who is ultimately responsible for the salary and benefits associated with this position, ensuring the funds came from the TIDC rather than the general fund of the city.

As a member of the TIDC, David Thompson explained that the less than $20,000 compensation for that position comes from monies allocated for economic development by the city. The compensation does not come from the general fund or any other fund other than those allocated for the TIDC specifically.

The commission was established in 1992 to promote economic development with the Re-Use Plan, loaning industries money to come to Trumann. Trumann was only one of two cities that developed a plan to re-use the money that was granted to them for economic development rather than giving the money as grants to industries. Although the TIDC oversees the money, the decision does ultimately come before the council before it can be granted to any incoming industry.

The council unanimously approved the ordinance.

In other business, the council:

*approved a resolution to close the Cops for Kids bank account and transfer the funds to the Police Training Fund as suggested by the auditor.

*approved the 2nd reading of an ordinance to acknowledge the existence, authority, and jurisdiction of the Trumann Police Department.

*approved a resolution for the purchase and installation of two sewer baffles and to waive competitive bidding.

*approved a resolution to amend the police policy.

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