Council to mull pet law

The new animal control ordinance will again be the focus of the Fort Dodge City Council meeting when it meets Monday.

The council will also set a deadline for bids on planned storm sewer improvements near First Avenue South and South 23rd Street.

The council meeting will begin at 5 p.m. in the Municipal Building, 819 First Ave. S., with a workshop discussion on the east region storm sewer. A workshop on the animal control fees and fines will be at 5:30 p.m.

The council will vote on the new rules for the third and final time during its regular business meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. in the Municipal Building.

The major revision to the city’s animal control laws addresses everything from pet licenses to the length of a dog’s leash. It has been publicly discussed since May.

Under the new law, a dog, cat or ferret license would be $6 if the animal is spayed or neutered and $20 if not. It also sets fees for various sized kennels, impoundment fees and fines for infractions.

Retractable leashes could be up to 16 feet long, but must be shortened to 6 feet when approaching another person or animal. Dogs would be required to be restrained while on their owner’s property, and the maximum number of pets a person can own would be limited to six, with a maximum of three dogs.

The ordinance requires three readings to become law. It passed 4-2 at the first reading and 4-3 the second time.

Also on Monday, the council is expected to set a deadline for bids on work on the roadway, sewers and pump station on First Avenue South at the east end of Veterans Bridge. This is Phase 1 of a long-term project which will eventually bring storm sewer improvements along First Avenue South between South 23rd Street and South 29th Street, as well as other areas.

The bidding deadline is expected to be Oct. 3, while a public hearing on the plans is expected for Oct. 14.

Snyder & Associates, of Ankeny, designed the east region storm sewer improvements. They estimate the needed construction will cost $1,569,000.

The council approved the initial contract for Snyder & Associates for planning, design and preliminary work on June 25.

The council will also consider expanding the Urban Renewal Area. This would allow tax increment financing to be used on several projects. Under the amendment, the Kemna Motors site, the proposed Valvoline site and the AutoSmart site, and part of the area in the east region storm sewer project would be added to the renewal area.

Tax increment financing occurs when increased property tax revenue from a designated area is set aside to be reinvested in that area.