Centerville takes up chicken, gem dealer measures

Telegraph correspondentJuly 15, 2014 

CENTERVILLE

City Council saw on Tuesday versions of two new ordinances it began discussing last month -- one regarding chickens in the city and the other dealing with shady precious metals and gems dealers.

The chicken ordinance makes having chickens, but not roosters, legal in the city and limits the number to five. It prescribes coops and runs be kept at the rear of lots and sets parameters for materials, upkeep and size. Feed must be kept secure and rodent-proof. Slaughtering chickens is not permitted.

The measure requires that anyone wanting to keep chickens apply and pay a $25 fee annually. Chickens and coops are subject to annual and as-needed inspections.

The ordinance also sets penalties for violations and other related requirements.

The ordinance dealing with precious metals and gems dealers requires dealers to keep daily records of gems and precious metals transactions, seller IDs and other pertinent information. It requires reports to be filed weekly with police, who may also examine records at any time.

Among other details, the ordinance forbids the destruction or altering of gems or precious metals for 10 days after transactions. Licensing requirements and violation penalties also are in the ordinance.

Councilman Ed Tucker, who introduced the measure, said it was unfortunate it was coming only after a suspicious incident was investigated in the city. He said while most dealers are honest, the measure likely would drive any dishonest precious metals and gem dealers from Centerville.

Police Chief Sydney Andrews said his department has informed local businesses of the pending ordinance with no negative feedback other than questions regarding reporting procedures. He said business were being assured police would work with them as they transition into the reporting system.

Both ordinances are expected to be voted on Aug. 5.

Tucker also brought two financial matters to the council for discussion and potential future action during Tuesday’s work session.

One involved putting council members on a prescribed per diem for out-of-town travel that he said would allow them freer rein in doing city business out of town, networking and attending state municipal classes, workshops and other events as well as providing greater latitude to allow spouses to attend functions.

Figures of $100, $125 and $150 were given as possibilities, with $125 seeming to get the most agreement.

Though no decision was made or final plan mentioned, Tucker said the issue needed to be addressed and that more discussion would follow.

The second issue involved creating an employee pay scale system with greater flexibility that Tucker said would empower department heads to reward deserving employees.

He said such a measure would help department heads do their job and help the city retain employees.

The idea comes as the city has made and is making changes to its employee pay scales.

In other business, the council was advised of budgeted expenditures for a mini excavator for the city’s water and sewer department at a cost of $38,798 and a mobile speed indicator sign for the police department at a cost of $2,021.

Contact Michael W. Pannell at mwpannell@gmail.com.

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