By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
Petition signers living on the first block of N. Maryland attended the city council meeting Monday to complain about two German Shepherd dogs that are terrorizing the neighborhood.
The situation has become bad enough that the Post Office will not deliver mail to the residents. This means they have to go to the Post Office to pick up their mail and there is no mail on Saturday because the Post Office is closed.
Commenting earlier on the situation, county commissioner Cynthia Johnson, who lives on the block, says about not having mail delivered, “I feel my civil liberties are being violated.”
Police Chief Gary Dent noted that citations have been issued to the people who own the animals and they have pled not guilty (‘not my dog’) in city court.
Tom Fetters, one of the home owners on the block told the council, “I don’t understand how one person can control this, someone is going to get hurt.”
Mayor John Shevlin told the petition signers, “We can’t take the dogs until they bite someone, it’s how the ordinance reads.”
He went on to add, “I’m not ignoring this petition, we have to do this legally.”
Councilman Wally McHenry asked if any of the group had talked to the woman who owns the dogs. The reply from one individual was, “Yes, we got sworn at.”
During the public comment segment, I-O editor Buck Traxler noted the paper had been informed the council agenda would no longer be printed in the paper prior to a council meeting.
Evidently not wanting to discuss this, the mayor simply said, “that’s right,” and quickly moved on to a new item on the agenda. More on this later.
Building permits were approved for 510 S. Iowa, 512 S. Illinois and 220 S. Front Street.
Approval was given for the 4-H shooters to have a fireworks stand and permit to sell fireworks in the parking lot of G&D Hardware.
There was discussion on the pending weed ordinance revolving around the five day notice and the option of notification by letter, phone or in person. The latter would utilize the police department. No action was taken. This item will be on the agenda of the next meeting.
There was discussion but no action taken in personnel manual updates regarding health insurance benefits for city employees. It was noted that the insurance company doesn’t want to be explicit or specific.
An insurance representative will be in Conrad to address city personnel and council members on May 20. Readers will recall that on March 18 the city passed a medical-mill levy to pay for health insurance for city employees. While your taxes were raised to pay for this, after two months no polices have been sold.
It was noted that city crews picked up 14 tons of “stuff” in the recent alley clean up. That’s two tons more than last year.
The council accepted the resignation of Park and Rec. director Darren Pruttis. Councilman Sandy Syvertson said they were looking for a replacement and had been for a couple of months.
Mark your calendar for Aug. 3. That will be the second annual “Family Night Out” at the Conrad Lions Swimming Pool Park. Chief Dent informed the council he is again trying to bring in a chopper for the family event.
The Pondera Arts Council (PAC) put in a request to block off the 300-400 block of Main St. for vendors and food sellers on June 5 for the Rhubarb Festival at Whoop-Up. They also asked the city for garbage containers and to bear one-third the cost of two porta-potties. This will come to about $55. The mayor said, “We’re in a position where we can do this.”
Council members passed the expense request on a 4-0 vote.
After the meeting was over, Traxler asked the mayor if the city was hurting for money, trying to find out why they didn’t want to inform citizens of council meetings.
City Finance Office Agnes Fowler told him, “You don’t want to go there.” Asked what other areas were going to take cuts the mayor said, “We won’t know until the budget is completed. When we find a reason to cut, we cut.”
It costs the city $10 to have the agenda printed to inform citizens of what is going to happen at a future meeting. The city can’t afford to be transparent for $10 but can find $55 to pay for an outhouse.
To find out what is on the council agenda now, citizens can make a trip to the Post Office or city hall and view their bulletin boards.
The next regular meeting of the council will be June 7, 7:30 p.m. at city hall, 411-1/2 S. Main Street. The public is always invited to come and see your government at work.