Chickens Still Outlawed In Pound Village LimitsIssue Date: May 26, 2022
After a considerable amount of discussion at its meeting on Monday, May 9, the Pound Village board agreed, with only one dissenting vote, to stand by the ordinance adopted in 2010 that prohibits the keeping of chickens and other small animals in the village.
Motion to stand by the ordinance was made by Village President Terry Earley, seconded by Trustee John Homontowski, and supported by trustees Mike Rogodzinski and Bethany Navis. Trustee Morgan Messenger, daughter of Bruce and Tammy Messenger, the couple who sought permission to keep chickens in their yard at 101 Colburn Street, cast the sole opposing vote.
Present for the meeting in addition to board members were Clerk/Treasurer Diane Patz, Public Works/Utilities Director Scott Fuelle, Bruce and Tammy Messenger, Paulette Owens, Kevin Schutte, Dennis Kopatz, Chelsea Warwick and Mike Slack.
After brief discussion the board unanimously approved plans of Dennis Lepinski to put three duplexes rather than six in the Manufactured/Mobile Home Park he is developing in the village. Lepinski was unable to attend the meeting, but Rogodzinski explained there will be trailers on the north side of the mobile home park and side by side duplexes on the south side.
Open Book was scheduled for 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 16, with Board of Review to be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 2.
The monthly Northeast Wisconsin Municipal Court report showed the Village of Pound had no citations, no trials, no just cause hearing and no case reviews.
Rogodzinski reported there was a $50 donation to the Fire Department. The Fire Department had balances of $34,565.58 in checking and $18,797 in savings.
Scott Fuelle reported his April activities included getting the Park ready and open, fixing the wall by the church, and repairing the manhole by the R-Store. He said all streets had been vacuumed and he had started cutting grass.
In his utility report, Fuelle said the monthly water pumped totaled 566,000 gallons, for a daily average of 20,000 gallons. Monthly lift station sewage pumped totaled 1,958,000 gallons and a daily average of 65,000, showing Inflow/Infiltration of 1,392,000 gallons.
There was one utility shut off for non-payment. Fuelle said he was still waiting for a part to finish repairs on the hydrant on CP. He had attended the Utility Board meeting in Coleman earlier that day, and said the Pound board was invited to join a walk through at the Coleman Waste Water Treatment Plant with engineers from Cedar Corp. on Thursday, May 19, for about an hour and a half, starting at 10:30 a.m.
Since Coleman Area Rescue Squad President Curt Tisler was unable to attend the meeting due to a fire call, Rogodzinski passed along an invitation for everyone to attend the Rescue Squad open house on Sunday, May 15 to enjoy lunch and tour the new building, on which construction was completed this spring.
At the start of the discussion on the Messenger's request for a variance that would allow them to raise chickens for their own personal use on their property at 101 Colburn Street, Bruce Messenger passed around a picture of the coops that they currently have set up from the past. He said they were hoping to raise 6 to 8 meat chickens at a time, with an 8-week turn around, and keep 8 to 10 layers year-round. He asked that consideration be given on a case-by-case basis, and there was brief discussion on a possible permit for one year at a time, with mandatory inspections.
Discussion included concerns regarding smell, cleaning of pens, rat control, reasons for creation of the original ordinance, and concerns over ground water contamination.
Rogodzinski commented that the ordinance has an entire section on what the pens should be, and then goes on to say they can't have any. "It left me scratching my head," he commented.
To a question on possible objection of neighbors to bird droppings, Tammy Messenger said the droppings fall on wood chips, which are removed and hauled to be used on the garden on their land in Coleman.
To questions about rodents, Messenger said their yard is rodent free, but rats have come in from neighboring properties.
Rogodzinski wondered why the ordinance prohibiting chickens and other small animals was adopted in the first place. Kevin Schutte, who had been village president when the ordinance was adopted in 2010, said they had been having problems with a few people who kept animals in their yards.
Earley said he would also like to raise chickens, but felt the ordinance should be kept. There were questions about enforcement of ordinance provisions, and Earley and others expressed frustration that they have a court system, but enforcement does not get done.
Rogodzinski was concerned about a possible rodent problem. Earley said the Messenger property is well within the 1,000 foot protected distance from the village well, and felt there would likely be a problem with groundwater contamination if everyone in the village started keeping chickens or other animals.
As to dealing with similar requests on a one by one basis, Earley wondered how they would deal in the future with people who wanted to raise one pig, or a cow or a horse.
Morgan Messenger declared chickens are very different from those animals. Homontowski was concerned that they would be opening a Pandora's box by granting the variance for chickens.
Earley then moved to stand by the existing ordinance that prohibits chickens. He received a second from Homontowski and the motion was then approved by the four to one vote.
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