Houlka considers leash law

CJ-0923-HOULKA-Tower-2CHOULKA – Residents of Houlka have had their cats killed, their garbage spilled and they are concerned about the safety of their children.

The Houlka Board of Aldemen were approached by several city residents wanting city leaders to address the issue.

“We’ve got dogs that run up and down our street and a pack of them killed my cat,” said resident Renee Brown. “We’ve got little children that play in our neighborhood and I need to know they are safe.”

Brown pointed out the city hired a dog-catcher several years ago and it seem to do a lot of good.

“I know that you did away with that because of cost,” said Brown. “But is there anyway you could pick them up as needed. I know there are people willing to help do this. I’m willing to help do this.”

Mayor Jimmy Kelly said the dog-catcher was effective but there are new regulations in place that require dogs that are picked up to be housed and fed before they are disposed of.

“We looked into that and found the cost to be high to build a pound,” said Kelly. “We are talking about thousands of dollars to build it and then you have to pay someone to feed and water them every day. We just don’t have it in the budget.”

Alderman David Wiggs said he saw a pit-bull near the school house several weeks ago and tried to find out who it belonged to.

“Everyone I talked to said it wasn’t their dog,” said Wiggs. “But as soon as we do something to pick it up we will have people at city hall wanting their dog.”

Brown asked about implementing a lease law.

City Attorney Jimmy Hood said the city needed to address a lease law in a carefully drawn up ordinance. He urged the board not to act too quickly.

The board tabled the concern and said they would keep Brown abreast of developments.

In other business:

• Aldermen approved a bid from Scott Heating and Air of $2,400 to repair air conditioning units serving the fire department. Scott’s bid was much lower than other bids and the work will be paid for from State Fire Rebate money.

• Peggy Fitts approached the board about a $1,075 water bill she received for one of her rental properties.

Fitts said while there had been a problem with the property, it was immediately fixed. She said her plumber said there was no way the reading could be so high.

Aldermen said the city’s policy was to allow a resident contesting a bill to have a one-time, half-off adjustment to their bill. The city will bill Fitts $534.47 for the water.

• The city voted to give free water to the Tanglefoot Trail whistlestop. The bathroom on the trail is expected to have about a $30 to $40 monthly bill. The bathroom is public.

• The board voted to table a sign ordinance for signs placed on city property. The opening of the Tanglefoot Trail has prompted several Houlka businesses to stick up sign on city property.

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