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Town residents won't bark up wrong tree

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Town residents won't bark up wrong tree

By MARIBETH WARD, Staff Writer

Dog owners who allow their animals to run loose in Roachdale will find it an expensive decision.

Town Council members voted at Tuesday night's meeting to enforce the town ordinance which allows animal control and the Town Marshal to write tickets for loose dogs.

The request came after Town Marshal Mike Mahoy warned a citizen for letting her pit bull run loose. The animal which has 14 puppies has been caught roaming the area on several occasions.

"If the animal is tagged properly, and it's just an accident that they are loose, we'll return it to them. There is a difference between negligence and accident," claimed Greg Poole, Animal Control.

Board president Bill Long added, "Sometimes the only way to enforce things is to get into their pockets."

Animal owners are required to purchase a yearly license for their pets.

The town ordinance allows for fines to be collected from offenders. The first violation costs $25 plus a $6 a day fee with a hold limit of 10 days and $100 maximum fee. The second violation increases the ticket cost to $35 and a third infraction costs $50. The $6 a day holding fee is in addition to the fine.

Currently the animals can be held for ten days but Mahoy requested the council to amend the ordinance to 3 days.

Council members passed a request to begin enforcing the current ordinance, and asked the town attorney to prepare paperwork to change the holding time to 3 days. The first reading of the change is scheduled for the next board meeting. A change in the ordinance requires two public readings prior to being passed.

In other business

* Marshal Mahoy requested approval to add a reserve officer to his roster. He asked that a contract be required binding the officer to a one year agreement because the position which is unpaid and voluntary costs the town approximately $1,200 for uniforms and equipment. The board asked him to put together a proposal for the next meeting.

* Passed a building permit to tear down an old house and erect a garage on East Street

* Tabled a variance request for the placement of a second trailer on a two-lot area pending notification to neighbors

* Discussed painting the roof of a building in the park. Paint will be provided by the town. Suggestions on who can paint it the structure were discussed. Suggestions for painters included using community corrections, scouts or other volunteers

* Gave permission to Friends of the Park to paint the picnic tables in the park which are being used for a children's summer program

* Discussed the town's requirements for semi traffic and parking on city streets

The Roachdale Town Council meets at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at City Hall.



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