Hartford Council Makes Tough Choices on Animal Control

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The Hartford City Council met in regular session on Monday evening, January 27. Present at the meeting, council members Michael Fildes, Lanny Woodhull, Eddie Kazy, Karen Griffin, Danielle Woodard and Norma Raye Morgan. Also present, Mayor Larry Hall and Recorder/Treasurer Judy Adair.

One of the first items of business, discussing the ongoing issues with animal control. Police Chief Joey Bolin reported that they had issued four citations regarding dogs. “I want to work to make Hartford a better place to live, and to do that, you have to enforce some of these ordinances that are already in place.” Water Superintendent Rich Galyen agreed, adding that they “don’t want to do it, but they are going to have to begin euthanizing dogs.”

The city’s ordinance states animals that are held at the shelter for more than 10 days are subject to be euthanized. According to Galyen, some of the dogs have been there much longer, and the city is running out of places to keep them.

“What’s bad is, we know who owns some of these dogs, and they won’t come and get them,” stated Mayor Hall. “So, we will let them know the dogs will be euthanized, and the owner will be billed.”

The council and mayor agreed to look into additional ways to help curb the ongoing animal problem.

Adair introduced the city’s new Fire Chief, Jeff Hester. Hester reported on the appointment of new officers, which the council approved. Hester also reported on the status of the department’s building and equipment.

Galyen then reported on the savings to the city with the resolution of water loss. The water department had struggled to break even, but according to Mayor Hall, “is just now starting to profit.”

Hall then shared with the council the letter from Mansfield Mayor Buddy Black. “They are asking for a 67% increase for waste water treatment,” shared Hall. Adair read aloud the original ordinance and requirements of the city to levy the fees. Alderman Woodhull recommended that Hall and Adair compose a letter requesting documentation that would demonstrate the need for an increase. Alderman Woodard claimed the request was “gutsy” and hoped this was a point of negotiation.

At 6:45 p.m., the council voted to go into executive session to discuss a personnel issue. After reconvening at 6:53 p.m., Mayor Hall announced that no action was taken, and that the council left the matter “to his discretion.”

Next, Adair shared that at the cost of $3,500, she could be relicensed and save the city the $500 per month that they are currently paying Attorney Matt Ketcham to prosecute. Woodhull made the motion to pay the fee, with the stipulations she perform that duty for the next six months. The motion passed unanimously.

Before moving for adjournment, the council voted to add a street light at Bache and South Pine Street, and to purchase a $4,500 pump to allow for a future expansion for water users.

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Tammy Teague

Tammy Teague

Mansfield native, with roots in Scott County. Daughter, sister, wife and Christian. Education: 1995 MHS graduate; 1999 Arkansas Tech University Graduate - BA in Journalism. Career: Managing Editor - The Citizen; Copy Writer - Southwest Times Record; 20+ years experience in the news.

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