This story first appeared in the Oct. 14 issue of the Community Voice. For the latest local news and sports, call 270-384-9454 for a subscription.
In recent months, the county government has spent hours developing and discussing an ordinance that was proposed following complaints of unattended cats by one homeowner. On Tuesday, that ordinance died.
“This probably should have been a civil case and the fiscal court not gotten involved,” County Judge Executive Gale Cowan said during what may be the last of many discussions about what was first dubbed a “cat ordinance.”
Numerous complaints have been made about a house in a subdivision owned by Alan Burton. Burton, who is a county employee, attended a fiscal court meeting in August and identified himself as the cat owner whose neighbors have complained to magistrates.
Magistrates did not go easy on Burton, with magistrate Chris Reeder telling him that he is a terrible neighbor. In the end, however, they failed to even make a motion to give final approval to their own ordinance.
Magistrate Daryl Flatt, who has led the charge for an ordinance, said he still has issues with the enforcement aspect of the ordinance. The ordinance would require anyone with 10 cats or dogs or a combination of 10 to restrict the animals to approved kennels and purchase a kennel license.
Enforcement would only take place should there be a complaint and violations could lead to court action.
Sammy Baker said there is a house in his district that “looks like a garbage truck wrecked in the yard,” but forcing a cleanup according to a county nuisance ordi- nance has so far been unsuccessful.
“I’m afraid this will be the same way,” Baker said.
After a 10-minute dis- cussion, a final reading on the ordinance failed to receive a motion for approval.
Cowan Seeks State Fund- ing to Repair Courthouse
Also during Tuesday’s regular fiscal court meet- ing, Cowan told magis- trates she hopes to seek state funding to make repairs for the historic courthouse. The ceiling has fallen in after leaks in a couple of rooms and the building is “getting in bad shape,” Cowan said.
She asked magistrates if they wanted to seek funding to remove wings that are not part of the original portion of the building and they agreed that would be the best option.
She said she has talk- ed with Sen. Max Wise and talked with Rep. Bam Carney before he became ill. She has now talked with Rep. Josh
Branscum, who rep- resents Russell, Clinton, Cumberland and part of Pulaski County, about getting funding as a line item in the 2022 budget. She also intends to speak with the winner of the November election to fill Carney’s seat.
Cowan asked and received a vote to allow her to proceed in seeking funding from the legisla- ture for the project.
Other action taken during the meeting included:
– The court approved borrowing $100,000 from the road department to pay bills in the general fund until tax collection revenue comes in. The money must be replaced by the end of the year.
– Reappointed Amy Thompson Wells to the Extension board and appointed Barry Smith to replace Ben Loy, who has served a maximum term. They will serve three-year terms.
– Reappointed Mary Knight to the library board and appointed Betty Knifley to replace J. D. Zornes for four-year terms.
– Approved the pur- chase of two Dodge Chargers with the vehi- cles and outfitting cost- ing $77,229 for the sheriff ’s office. The county did not receive any bids for the vehicles but Sheriff Josh Brock- man received a quote from Franklin Motors.
– The court rejected a bid from a local bank without opening the bid after receiving only one bid to finance the sher-
iff ’s cars. Cowan had got- ten quotes from the four local banks before real- izing the process would need to be bid. She did not share the informa- tion from the quotes. Magistrate Reeder said he wanted to give all the banks another chance to bid on the process.
– The court moved Chryslee Sherrill and Hailey Sullivan from part-time to full-time employees at 911.
– The court moved Billy Cowan from seasonal to full time employee.
– Approved a $5,000 repair for a boom mower. – Discussed bidding a new playground at the Blair center but took no action after questions about how the specs
would be determined.
– Judge Cowan said the city has received an offer from a donor to update a faded sign honoring Medal of Honor recipi- ent Dakota Meyer that is displayed on the court- house lawn. The court
approved the project.
– The court approved a quote of $3,075 for a mini split (ductless) unit for heat/air at the animal
– Approved a request
from Sheriff Brockman to tear out a low bearing wall in his office.
– Approved final read- ing to reduce speed limit on Gentry Mill Rd. to 30 mph.
All magistrates were present for Tuesday ’s meeting.
By Sharon Burton email@example.com