WEST LOGAN — A long proposed ordinance dealing with animals was discussed Monday, Aug. 12, at the West Logan town council, which held a second reading of the proposal during their regular monthly meeting.
Councilmembers were joined by some local residents who came to ask questions about the ordinance. Mayor Darren Akers explained that the idea came up after years of issued related to dogs and cats — many strays — from an incident where a child was bitten on the face to a more recent uproar when several people feared an abandoned structure was going to be turned into a dog pound.
City Clerk Mark Mareske noted that under the proposal no for-profit or non-profit dog pounds would be allowed within the confined limits of the municipality, where houses are often so close together that noise or odor could become a problem for neighbors.
The mayor and council noted that people who kept their pets inside or fenced in should have no fault with the ordinance, which was primarily aimed at dealing with strays, vicious breeds, unwanted pounds and problems for neighbors. One man noted that he had several dogs he had taken in and had provided veterinarian treatment for, and noted that he was trying to find them good homes, but had encountered difficulty in finding humane shelters which would take them. He asked if the ordinance was referring to him and was told it was not, as it was dealing with other issues that went back years.
“It has just gotten to the point where we have to do something,” the mayor noted. Akers said that if the town could help the man to find good homes for the animals it would.
“I just want to find them good homes, I do not want to see them killed,” the resident said, noting that his animals were fenced in and secured.
Town Attorney Sabrina Deskins said it was actually based on the City of Logan’s own ordinance which had been put into effect several years ago with no problems. Deskins told the man that a copy of the ordinance could be provided to him, and explained to the council that if need be, the matter could be either delayed or voted on with needed amendments or changes made later. Following discussion the council approved the second reading of the ordinance.
In other West Logan news:
• Council observed a moment of silence for the late Francis Owens, a very-well respected and longtime member of the community.
• Akers and councilmember Mary Randant were sworn in and took the Oath of Office following the June election.
• Council discussed appointing somebody to replace Jamie Browning on the council from District No. 2. Police Chief Robert Ward said one resident of that area was a firefighter who had helped the city several times during emergencies and that he might be a good choice. Akers agreed, and said the man would be contacted to see if he was available.
• Council approved the reading of the minutes for July and the financial statement from July. Mareske said the town’s bank balance was up due to second quarter Business and Occupation taxes coming in and the town receiving $6,500 from the Logan County Commission’s law enforcement levy for the West Logan Police Department. Mareske noted the town’s tipping fees at the garbage dump were up slightly and Akers noted that as the town had not had a community wide clean up this summer some of that may have been from people doing late spring-type cleaning.
• Akers thanked the individuals involved in the recent revamp of city hall. The building was painted light green recently and other improvements have been on the way, including repairs and a new sink for the bathroom.
• Ward said it had been a slow month in July, with no reported accidents, domestic altercations or reported thefts. Two suspects on ATVs were chased and detained temporarily by the West Virginia State Police. Ward said 911 had contacted the WLPD about doing a safety check on a local person and when it was done it was found the individual was actually at work.
• Mareske discussed a proposed amnesty on funds owed by the town to the West Virginia’s Auditor’s Office. Markeske explained that the town could save $5,000 by paying around $3,000 to the auditor and getting amnesty for the larger amount. Council agreed with the measure.