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Council Hears Public’s Concerns; Addresses Pet Ordinance

Holden City Council members heard public comments at their regular August 17 monthly meeting.

Mayor Liz Weeks invited anyone from the public in attendance to address the council.

With the floor open, resident and business owner Kristy Talley addressed the council about an incident that occurred on July 15, where her dog was attacked by a neighbor’s aggressive dogs.

Talley explained that she had previously made complaints about a neighbor near another property that she owns who has six aggressive pit bulls.

Talley passed out photos of her dog’s injuries and said that she felt the pet ordinance needed to be clearer about how many animals are allowed per household.

Talley added that due to the animal issue, she was having problems selling the property because of the number of dogs and their nature, and that homeowner’s insurance will not insure or pay on claims for certain breeds and certain number of dogs.

Other residents came forward with similar complaints about aggressive animals, including Felipe Castro who said he had concerns about his child riding her bike in the neighborhood as well, because of the nature of the animals.

Other residents commenting on the issue included Steve and Betty Hogan, who shared their concerns about dogs running loose in their neighborhood and in areas Mr. Hogan mows lawns.

Holden Police Chief Matt Carter added that taking video and photos of the offending animals would help the police department in getting these situations rectified.

Resident Susan Chastain shared her concerns about an aggressive dog issue in her neighborhood also.

Mayor Weeks told the concerned citizens that the city council is aware of the issue of the home with six pit bulls and that council is working with City Attorney Jeremy Cover on reviewing the animal ordinance.

Mayor Weeks also stressed that when people see dogs that are running free and not on a leash they should contact the police so they can handle the situation and issue a citation.

Chief Carter said that the home with the six pit bulls has been cited twice already.

In Park Board business, Dave Chastain, Parks & Rec president, informed council that the Park Board would be moving its meetings to the last Thursday of the month.

Chastain went on to say that Parks & Rec would like to take over maintenance and care of the veterans’ memorial, located outside of city hall.

Mayor Weeks approved the request from Chastain. In other public comments, resident Linda Barker addressed council about a stormwater issue at her home and asked about the city installing a bigger culvert in her driveway.

Street Superintendent Ron Heinemann answered her concerns, saying a larger culvert could be put in but the city would also have to get Mr. Barker’s permission. Heinemann went on to say it may be a while before the street department can get to it, because they had recently begun their paving schedule.

Barker questioned if the homeowner is responsible for the cost of the new culvert and Heinemann told her, yes, it is the responsibility of the homeowner.

In ordinance business, the Mayor read the first reading of Bill No. 08-01-2021 – An ordinance amending Chapter 73 regarding the maximum number of animals permitted within the city limits.

Council Member Renee Rahe motioned to accept and approve Bill No. 08-01-2021 and Councilman Ray Briscoe seconded the motion. There was discussion about the number of animals and the fees for animal licenses.

Councilman Briscoe then made a motion to amend the current motion to make the changes to the fees in the animal ordinance to reflect current fees.

Councilman Rusty Kephart seconded the motion, and all approved.

Weeks asked if there was any further discussion. The Mayor asked for a roll call vote of the first reading of Bill No. 08-01-2021.

All voted to approve except Council Member Julie Fields and Councilman Briscoe, and the measure passed.

Weeks then moved on to another ordinance, Bill No. 08-02-2021, an ordinance authorizing the installation of a stop sign at the intersection of Market and 4th Streets.

After a motion, and a second to the motion, the measure passed by unanimous vote.

In personnel news, Mayor Weeks informed council that a new street department crew member had been hired, Eddie Hausenstein.

Council unanimously approved the new city employee.

In other business, Holden resident and longtime businessman Dan Cast submitted a sidewalk project application and a bid for a new sidewalk.

It was explained to council that in the past, the City has reimbursed 50 percent of the cost of the concrete.

Councilman Jeremy Knox motioned to approve paying for half of the materials for Cast’s sidewalk project.

The motion received a second but before a vote was taken, Councilman Briscoe motioned to amend the original motion to include not paying for half of the sidewalk until council saw the invoices for the concrete and steel.

After a second, the Mayor asked for a vote to the previous motion.

All voted in favor and motion passed.

Council voted to adjourn the regular session meeting and went into executive session.

See next week’s Image for August committee reports.

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