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Pit bulls dodge ban

By Staff | Aug 14, 2008

SPIRIT LAKE – Fences blocked the Spirit Lake City Council from making a decision on the ordinance regarding dangerous dogs and prohibition of wild animals.

Councilmembers have agreed that they would like to allow pit bulls within the city limits with certain restrictions.

All dangerous dogs, not just pit bulls, cannot be allowed to exit their kennels, pens or other enclosures without being on a leash no longer than four feet long. The dog must also wear a properly fitting muzzle. When the animal is not leashed it must be securely confined indoors or in a confined, locked pen which must meet certain standards.

The structure must have secure sides and top, or if there is no top, the sides must be eight feet tall. The structure must have a permanently attached bottom or the sides must be embedded at least one foot into the ground, and the structure must be made of such material and closed in such a manner that the dog cannot exit the enclosure on its own.

Other conditions include posting “Beware of Dog” signs with lettering no less than two inches tall. The owner must prove that liability insurance or a surety bond has been purchased for no less than $100,000. All offspring of a dangerous dog must be registered with the city within six weeks of birth. If the dog escapes, the owner must immediately alert the police department.

After agreeing to these conditions, councilmember Steve Balm said he would like to see the dog be able to run in the yard as long as it is fenced in and under direct supervision. This would give the dog an opportunity to exercise within the city limits.

City regulations state that a fence in the front yard can be no higher than four feet and no higher than six feet in the rear yard. However, on lakeside homes, the yard on the street side is considered the rear yard.

No action was taken so that the council may look further into adding fencing regulations to the ordinance.

The council approved the reappointments of Ivan Brown, Augi Scheppmann, Tom Tourville, Bob Sneitzer, Clyde Ihrke and Dr. Eric Nielsen to the industrial development committee. Sara Frerichs was approved to fill a vacancy.

The council reappointed Bill Baker to the planning and zoning commission. Sue Clark was appointed to fill a vacancy.

In other action, the council:

n Set a public hearing for 5:30, Tuesday, Sept. 9, regarding the proposed issuance of $325,000 general obligation notes.

n Carried the ordinance vacating Royal Avenue in the plat of Bedell’s Fourth Addition.

n Adopted the resolution setting the public hearing for 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 9, on the request to rezone property at Parcel B, Lot 2, Auditor’s Plat of NW 1/4 of NW 1/4 section 4.99.36 from light industrial district to residential district.

n Approved the agreement with the Northwest Iowa Plan and Development Agency.

n Approved the agreemennt with Piper Jaffray for financial advisory services.

n Adopted the resolution which would provide authorization for the City Administrator to execute certain internal fund transfers.

n Accepted the City of Spirit Lake 2006 Lighting Improvement Project.