Pick up your dog’s droppings

MARSHALL – If dog is man’s best friend, then dog poop is just a necessary by-product of that relationship, but the Marshall Town Board of Aldermen wants man to take responsibility.

Council made it clear at its March 21 meeting at City Hall that it wants people walking their dogs across the city to pick up after their pets, citing an increase in litter seen along Main Street.

Mayor Nancy Allen and council have agreed to send a flyer to residents reminding them to pick up their pets.

City administrator Forrest Gilliam raised the issue during his report to council.

“A number of companies have noticed this, and if you talk to Chief (Mike) Boone, it’s something they’re pursuing, but they often only have one officer working per shift,” Gilliam said. . “Most of the time you don’t see it happening. But for some people it’s a problem, and they’ve been discussing ways to improve compliance. It’s probably going to be one of those things, like speed , where you’re going to have delinquents. But we really have to keep taking care of the city.

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Alderman Aileen Payne said she has heard from a number of business owners, including Georgette Shelton of department store Penland & Son, about the increased presence of litter.

“I’m an animal lover,” she said. “I’ll dodge a dog and hit a person, because I’m an animal person. But that’s bad. It’s bad with our stores and stuff.”

Payne suggested council distribute a flyer to residents.

“I really think there should be a flyer sent out to people with what we expect of them,” Payne said. “Anyone who lets a dog go in front of a business or a garden or a park or something…it’s a big pile right in front of their stores. Most owners are really angry because they have intervened so much times. And please don’t throw it in our bins unless it’s in a bag.

Alderman Thomas Jablonski asked Boone if he had ever issued a citation for the offense, which carries a maximum fine of $50.

“It’s kind of ironic because I had sent a letter for unpaid municipal ordinances, and one of the ones that was a return to sender (March 21) was actually this charge,” Boone said. “We don’t issue that particular quote much, because like someone said, it’s hard to catch someone actually doing it. But we do, yes. All city ordinances, at excluding consumption (alcohol), cost $50, and parking is $15.”

Alderwoman Laura Ponder Smith said she noticed an increase in dog walkers along Main Street while working at the downtown Marshall License Plate Agency.

“You know where I sit every day,” she said. “All day it’s back and forth and back and forth. It’s a great place to walk a dog, just, obviously, clean up after them. And not all of these people I see who live in town. ”

Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) amendments

According to Gilliam, the planning board has begun analyzing the city’s 340-page Unified Development Ordinance passed in May 2011 to look for changes that should be made, including grammatical errors that should be corrected in an official capacity.

“We went through the ordinance, starting in July, where over the years (the council) passed a number of amendments that stuck to the back of the ordinance,” Gilliam said. “So I’ve gone through and edited each part to incorporate all the amendments that have been passed since it was passed.

“That’s all fixed now. It’s going to help us with what we share with the public. When they call, we can tell them, ‘Here’s where to look.’ It will also help the planning committee as they are looking at things that were confusing.”

Among the topics that Gilliam said needed clarification was the noise ordinance. It comes after the Hot Springs City Council met and discussed overhauling its noise ordinance ahead of the summer season, as a new outdoor music venue and its three wedding venues raised concerns. among council members regarding noise levels in the densely populated downtown area.

“If you’re about to come up with some place, certifying that you’re going to have a lot of the sound amplified, you can demand that they certify it,” Gilliam said. “Currently we only require this for bars, which probably should be required for bars. But you’ll probably want to consider applying these rules in the same way and making them consistent.”

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