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A treatise on dogs


Marengo City Council will hold a public hearing June 28 at 6 p.m. regarding possible revisions to the city’s animal ordinance.

The council approved the date of the public hearing during the June 14 regular council meeting.

A first reading will be held following the public hearing, and a total of three readings will be held before the ordinance can be passed, said Marengo City Administrator Brent Nelson. He noted the council does have the option to waive the second and third readings.

Nelson said he anticipates the earliest date the ordinance could be adopted is July 26.

The proposed ordinance was published in its entirety in the June 10 edition of the Marengo Pioneer Republican.

The proposed ordinance states that:

• It shall be unlawful for any dog or cat to run at large within the corporate limits of the City of Marengo. The fine is $30 for a first offense, $50 for a second offense and $100 for a third offense and for any subsequent offenses.

• It is the duty of the police department to apprehend any dog or cat running at large. The police department should make a good faith effort to notify the owner within 24 hours.

• If the owner is unknown, an impounded animal will be kept a minimum of three business days and thereafter may be adopted or humanely destroyed.

• If the owner is known and does not reclaim their animal within three days, they will be sent notice that the animal will be put up for adoption or disposed of within seven days of the date of the notice.

• Any owner may redeem a dog or cat by immediately having it vaccinated and by purchasing current license tags and by paying the fines and costs imposed by this ordinance.

• Owners of all cats and dogs within the city limits must obtain a license annually for all animal over the age of six months. The license tag is issued by the city clerk.

• The fine to keep an animal with an expired license is $30. The fine to keep an unvaccinated dog or cat is $200.

• Any dog or cat reported to have bitten a person shall be treated as a vicious animal.

• A vicious animal is defined as any animal that has bitten a person or persons, could not be controlled or restrained by the owner at the time of the attack to prevent the occurrence or has attacked any domestic animal or fowl on two separate occasions.

• Any person claiming to have been bitten by an animal must go in person to the police department or a physician to show proof of a bite.

• Any animal that has bitten a person or another animal, or any animal suspected of being infected with rabies, must be confined for 14 days.

• The owner of a dangerous or vicious animal will have three days to remove the animal from the city limits. If not removed within three days, the penalty for a first offense is $250. The minimum penalty for a repeat offense is a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $1,000.

• Any dangerous or vicious animal found at large and unattended may be destroyed or in the alternative confined or captured. The city is under no duty to notify the owner of such animal prior to destruction.

• The fine to permit a dog to run after, chase or attack any person, domesticated animal or vehicle or place any person in reasonable fear of attack or injury is $200.

• It is unlawful for any dog to disturb the peace by frequent or habitual barking, howling or yelping. If there are more than two complaints within 30 days, the police may impound the animal. The fine for disturbance is $30.

• A limit will be placed on the number of cats and dogs on the same premises. A resident can have no more than three dogs or three cats or a total of five dogs and cats combined as of Jan. 1, 2011.

• The fine for an animal to defecate on private property without the owner’s consent or pubic property without disposing of any feces is $30.

• The fine if an animal causes damage to private or public property is $200.

• The fine to abandon any animal within city limits is $200.

The public will have an opportunity to voice their opinions at the June 28 meeting, and council members have a chance to make changes to the proposed ordinance.

Council member Kelli Krutsinger said she would like to change the definition of vicious animal. Instead of an animal being deemed vicious if it has attacked a domestic animal on two occasions, Krutsinger said she said a dog or cat should be deemed vicious after the first incident.

“I would like it a little bit stricter than that,” she said.


Marengo City Administrator Brent Nelson Con-Struct workers are in the process of connecting all the services to the water main on Court Street as part of phase II of the downtown streetscape project. As of Monday, he said there were five businesses to connect and they all should have been ready to go live by June 15.

Nelson said it will take a week and a half to take down street lights and grade the site. He said it will take another three days to pave the block.

“They are basically doing everything they can to be done by July 3,” Nelson said. “There is a possibility the might not be done by the third.”

In case the road is still blocked for the Third of July celebration, Nelson said planners are working on a possible alternate route for the parade.


Marengo City Council approved several change orders to phase II of the downtown streetscape project June 14.

• The city will pay $23,386 to install an HMA overlay in the alley north of Hilton Street and west of Court Avenue that extends northerly to Washington Street. The overlay is intended to resolve the ponding of stormwater runoff in the alley behind Dr. Demro’s office, said Marengo Public Works Director Lonnie Altenhofen.

“It’s just in terrible shape and needs to be redone,” he said.

• In addition, city council approved a second change order to install a double seal coat in the west half of the same alley for a cost of $4,872. The seal coat will improve drivability and durability in the alley, said Nelson. Also, he said the water in the alley will not drain without the addition of the asphalt on the west half.

“Basically the alley neither needs potholes filled every year or we go in with the tiller,” said Nelson.

In total, the city will pay $28,258 to renovate the alley.

• Marengo City Council also approved a change order of $842.90 for the installation of water main appurtenances to accommodate an existing four-inch line. Veenstra and Kimm engineer Jeff Kettels said there is a four-inch sand cast main in the intersection of Hilton and Court that was not in the plans. He said it is in service to Hilton Street and it is directly in the way of a new 12-inch sanitary line. Kettels said they have to carry the new line up and over, which is why the change order is necessary.

• The council approved another change order in the amount of $2,346 for the installation of GFI outlets on the 12 new pedestrian lights in Marengo City Park. This will also have additional wiring for a separate circuit for the outlets from the lighting. Timer controls will operate the outlets as opposed to photocell.


The city will install slip lining in the sewer main that runs from the manhole location on East South Street to the lagoon pumping station for approximately $20,000.

Altenhofen said this pipe is of the same material as the pipe that collapsed two months ago. The city would face serious problems if this pipe should fail, he said.

Slip lining is a poly-urethane liner that is pulled through the pipe then heated up to harden.

“It turns basically to concrete,” Altenhofen said. “It is considered as good as putting plastic pipe in the ground.”

The slip-lining is lower cost and has a lifetime guarantee, he said.


Mary Ann Mumby told the council June 14 that a car parked in her mother’s carport at 353 Marion St., Marengo, was struck by an errant arrow. Mumby said it was apparent the stray arrow had come from a neighbor’s property, where a target was set up. She said the arrow went into the back of the car and did little damage.

However, Mumby said she is concerned there is no ordinance in the city of Marengo regarding bow and arrow target shooting. She said the city of Des Moines requires people to have a back stop at least five feet high and five feet to either side of the target.

“We shouldn’t have to worry about target shooting and no back stops,” Mumby said.

Marengo Mayor Joe Seye said as far as the Marengo ordinance is concerned, it is legal in Marengo to target shoot with a bow and arrow without a backstop.

“We will keep this in mind very much,” Seye said.

Council member Bill Kreis said he would sit on a committee that will review the ordinance and bring a recommendation to the council.


Following a public hearing June 14, Marengo City Council approved a motion to amend the city’s urban renewal agreement to include the city’s sewer lagoon area.

By including the lagoon in the urban renewal area, the city will be able to us tax increment financing (TIF) money to pay for repairs and upgrades to the lagoon system, said city administrator Brent Nelson.


Sixth graders from Iowa Valley Elementary School donated the proceeds from the Youth Market Place to go toward the construction of the new city dog kennel. Students in Deb Shaull’s and Connie Howar’s classrooms donated a total of $626 to the city June 14.


Mayor Joe Seye honored Marengo Police Chief Galen Moser for his 20 years of service to the City of Marengo


UPDATED June 22, 2010 12:17 PM

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