No backyard chicks

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

At the last regular meeting of the city council, aldermen finally got, disseminated, and read through information on the pros and cons of having chicks in your backyard.

Councilman Wally McHenry noted that if the issue passed, “Having a chick ordinance would be one more issue to take care of.”

Councilwoman Wendy Judisch, in favor of having backyard chicks commented, “Personally, I don’t see a problem with it. It seems like it’s the newest wave, I don’t know how it could be a problem.”

Mayor John Shevlin said he’d asked a lot of people about this and had two past mayors and a councilman who essentially said, “Don’t go there.”

McHenry made the motion not to allow backyard chickens, seconded by Alderman Sandy Syvertson. The motion passed on a 3-1 vote with councilwoman Karla Breding providing the other “no for chicks” vote. Judisch voted in favor to having backyard chicks.

There was some discussion on the weed ordinance before it was sent to city attorney Ken Olson for approval. “This is going to be a process of educating people,” commented the mayor.

Most of the discussion revolved around grass which will be considered weeds if over eight inches (8) in height.

There was a bid opening for surplus property, $350 for a light bar, off of a police cruiser. It was determined this was a realistic bid and was approved for sale by the council.

It was announced, just as in a recent county meeting, that the bid on the project for the I-15 overpass would be let out for bid by the Montana Department of Transportation in late March. Land on the other side of the highway will be surveyed before that bid letting.

Once again there was discussion on the city employee health insurance plan. It will be back on the agenda for the next council meeting. In addition, it may need two public hearings, one to tell the public what the city is doing and then another one, maybe down the road in September before it is passed or rejected. At the present, the insurance plan will be for full-time city employees only. It will be looked at for part-time employees after acceptance.

There was also discussion on the JCCS cafeteria plan agreement for services. This passed the council with a 4-0 vote.

Leann Hermance was on hand to talk about the recycling project that recently got underway.

Boxes for paper, news print and catalogs’ had been placed at the front of Meadowlark School. However, the paper drives were too successful and they had to be moved to Front Line Ag. So far over 6,000 pounds of paper has been picked up by volunteer help. The recycling committee has received $37.26 which doesn’t even cover the cost of gas, said Hermance

It was noted that this material over 6,000 pounds, did not go into the landfill.

A grant has been applied for to purchase a recycling bin that attaches to the back of a pick-up truck.

In other business, a letter of resignation was read and accepted from police officer Bill Prince. There may be, possibly, a letter of recommendation to hire a new officer at the next council meeting.

A financial report from Agnes Fowler was read and approved.

The next regular council meeting will be on Jan.4 at city hall, 411-1/2 S. Main at 7:30 p.m. The public is always invited and encouraged to come and see their government at work.