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Marengo looks at dog laws

By NICK NARIGON

The Marengo City Council continues to look at implementing a stricter animal at large ordinance.

Council member Kelli Krutsinger said she received another complaint about a loose dog chasing a walker and her dog. She told Marengo Police Chief Galen Moser she would like police officers to begin keeping track of how many complaints they receive about animals at large, how many citations they issue and how many animals are held at the city kennel.

“I am trying to put numbers together to be able to compare to the number of complaints I am getting,” Krutsinger said.

Marengo City Administrator Brent Nelson provided the council with a copy of the City of Belle Plaine animal ordinance. Nelson said Belle Plaine charges steep fines for animals at large and requires pet owners to register their pets.

According to the Belle Plaine ordinance, the city charges an annual fee of $7.50 to license spayed and neutered dogs and cats. It is $15 for pets not fixed. The city also charges a fine of $200 for keeping an unlicensed dog or cat.

The Belle Plaine ordinance also limits each household to three dogs or three cats or a total of five if there is a combination of both.

Nelson said the council is taking a step in the right direction by reviewing the city’s animal ordinance. He said if the council does decide to change the city’s ordinance, the city would need to build a larger kennel.

“We do not have room to hold those animals,” Nelson said. “We need to watch the timing. By the time a new ordinance could be implemented, we would need to have a suitable facility. We also need to give residents time to adjust to the new rules.”

Nelson said council members should take some time to look through the Belle Plaine ordinance and other city ordinances and bring notes to an upcoming council meeting. He said the city is not working on a specific timeline for the issue.

Council member Jamie Lillie said her question is how would the City of Marengo enforce a stricter ordinance.

“We don’t know exactly what houses have dogs, and not everybody is truthful,” Lillie said.

IN OTHER BUSINESS

The public hearing for the City of Marengo fiscal year 2011 budget was rescheduled for March 8. Nelson said the city staff needs more time to prepare the budget and “make sure the information is correct.”

The budget must be certified by the Iowa County Auditor by March 15.

• Marengo City Council voted Feb. 8 to donate one free pool pass to Marengo City Pool to the Iowa Valley Parents for Prom Committee. The donation was suggested by Chief Moser.

UPDATED February 10, 2010 1:11 PM

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