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Cliff Williams / The Outlook Mike Parker said dogs were able to tear at chicken wire inside his coop. The dogs got to his chickens and killed two.

The Dadeville City Council wants to look into how to develop animal control measures.

Animal control is something Dadeville officials have looked into in the past but found it cost prohibitive.

“It is an issue that needs to be looked at,” Mayor Wayne Smith said. “It’s a monumental undertaking. I checked with a neighboring city and they budget $275,000 a year for animal control.”

Smith told the council at Tuesday’s meeting startup costs are estimated between $500,000 and $750,000 to acquire a building and other necessary equipment for an animal shelter. Smith said local veterinarians were interested in helping too.

Dadeville resident Mike Parker explained to the council an issue he had with a roaming dog killing his chickens on multiple occasions.

“I have been working on this for six years,” Parker said. “I have lost a lot of chickens.”

Just two weeks ago dogs entered his coop again and news of the chicken deaths has gotten around.

“I’ve gotten calls in the last few weeks of dogs killing other chickens,” Parker said. “It’s about 60 chickens.”

Parker said chickens can be expensive as most were not only for cooking eggs.

“I paid $10 for a hatching egg,” Parker said. “I was expecting to get $50 a bird from some of the five star restaurants.”

Parker said speciality breeds lead to a bird with larger breasts. Parker has also had chickens prized in fly tying because of the feathers.

Smith said the issue has been taken up before, but the council approved town attorney Robin Reynolds to revisit the issue. Parker noted Alabama has a law on the books already that applies.

“Every person owning or having in charge any dog or dogs shall at all times confine such dog or dogs to the limits of his own premises or the premises on which such dog or dogs is or are regularly kept,” the law reads. “Nothing in this section shall prevent the owner of any dog or dogs or other person or persons having such dog or dogs in his or their charge from allowing such dog or dogs to accompany such owner or other person or persons elsewhere than on the premises on which such dog or dogs is or are regularly kept. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $2 nor more than $50.

“This section shall not apply to the running at large of any dog or dogs within the corporate limits of any city or town in this state that requires a license tag to be kept on dogs nor shall this section apply in any county in this state until the same has been adopted by the county commission of such county.”

The council did not vote on an animal control ordinance but did approve considering it. Smith suggested letting the next council that takes office in November take up the matter.

“We don’t want to burden them with the financial ramifications of this decision,” Smith said. “I think they need to be involved.”

No one came forward as a property owner for a home on McKelvey Street during a public hearing under the nuisance ordinance. Neighbors had filed the complaint as weeds had taken over the yard and construction debris had accumulated. With notices sent to the property owner about the complaint and public hearing, someone started to clean up the property but left the backyard virtually untouched.

“We sent a letter but they didn’t respond,” city building inspector Michael Richardson said. “They cut the grass in the front yard. It has a “for sale by owner” sign but the phone number is not readable.”

Richardson said the property is still in violation of the nuisance property ordinance. The council approved the next step of the city hiring the cleanup to be done, giving the property owner an opportunity to pay the bill before it’s added to the property tax bill.

The council passed a $3,129,440 budget for fiscal year 2021.

“It’s a good working budget,” Smith said. “Like the last four years, it’s a balanced budget.”

The Dadeville Beautification Board asked the council for help with decorating the town for the upcoming holidays.

“We are asking for assistance from city employees to put up Christmas decorations,” Elaine Balint Forbus said. “We need help to put them up around the square before the chamber open house Nov. 1 and again the week before Thanksgiving to put decorations on poles.”

The council approved to allow city employees to help the beautification board install many new decorations for the holiday season.

Reynolds addressed the council about vacating portions of Eufaula Street to the First Baptist Church.

“We have been waiting for a legal description,” Reynolds said. “They had to hire a surveyor to do a legal description.”

The legal description is needed for the property to be appraised to determine a value to be paid to the city. Reynolds said since there has been a delay in the public hearing for the vacation of the street it needs to be advertised again to make sure of compliance with state law.

Councilmember Betty Adams was not present.

In other action the Dadeville City Council:

• Approved minutes of the last meeting

• Approved payment of bills

• Approved a city wide trick-or-treat from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31

The next meeting of the Dadeville City Council is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 27 with a pre-council discussion at 5 p.m.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.