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Tether ordinance, security cameras before Follansbee Council

TETHER ORDINANCE CONSIDERED — Follansbee Council approved the first reading of an ordinance prohibiting dogs from being kept outdoors in extreme weather during Monday night’s meeting. -- Warren Scott

FOLLANSBEE — An ordinance aimed at ensuring proper care of dogs in extreme weather, the acquisition of property for development of a city parking lot and the purchase of security cameras for public places were among matters before Follansbee Council on Monday.

Council approved the first reading of an amended ordinance that states dogs may not be left tethered or otherwise kept outside for more than 30 minutes when the temperature is 32 degrees or less or 90 degrees or higher.

It further states, “Depending upon the size, breed and/or overall health of the dog upon inspection, the ultimate determination pertaining to any dog’s health, safety and/or welfare during weather events shall be in the sole discretion of either the animal control officer and/or law enforcement officer.”

Those who violate the ordinance face a fine up to $500, 30 days in jail or both. The ordinance will undergo a second reading at council’s July 12 meeting.

City Attorney Michael Gaudio noted it’s actually an amendment to an existing ordinance made at the request of resident Carri Welsh.

Welsh approached council and other local government bodies after hearing current ordinances addressing the care of dogs weren’t specific in regards to inclement weather, making enforcement difficult.

She suggested including specific temperatures to guide the county’s dog warden and law enforcement officers, noting other details are at each board’s discretion.

On Monday Welsh told council, “Thank you very much. You’re doing a great thing for the animals of this community by raising the standards of care.”

Last week Wellsburg Council approved the first reading of a similar ordinance.

Council also approved the acquisition of property at 224 Main St. for the purpose of creating 15 to 20 parking spaces for residents at the city’s south end.

About $5,000 has been allocated for the purchase using funds for the city’s building enforcement committee because a dilapidated structure there will be razed.

Plans call for parking permits to be issued to residents in the 200 and 300 blocks of Main Street interested in parking there.

The move is intended to address vehicles parking partly on sidewalks in that area of the street, which is part of state Route 2.

Some residents have complained their vehicles have been damaged or nearly struck by passing vehicles in the narrow section of the highway.

In related business, 1st Ward Councilman Paul Boniey noted plans and efforts by state road crews to alleviate flooding along Route 2 in the ward as he bid farewell to the other council members.

Boniey, who was defeated by Tammy Johnson in the city’s recent election, said, “The 1st Ward

In other business:

– Council authorized City Manager Jack McIntosh to advertise for video cameras to replace aging ones posted at local parks, ball fields and other public places and to pursue the auction of several ramps that once comprised a skateboarding park at Follansbee Park.

Located on a level area on the hillside overlooking much of the park, the skateboarding facility was closed some time ago following complaints of vandalism there. But McIntosh said individuals have broken into it recently.

Last week, 3rd Ward Councilwoman Kathy Santoro suggested restoring the basketball court on which the facility was built.

– First Ward Councilman Paul Boniey, who was defeated in the city’s recent election, bid farewell to the other council members while also urging them to improve his ward.

“The 1st Ward has been neglected a long time,” he said, adding, “I hope you’ll continue the momentum.”

Boniey also thanked other city officials who aided him in his two-year term.

– McIntosh said he’s received complaints about the city’s swimming pool not being heated. He said while the heater was shut off last year to save money, he’s since learned it needs new jets.

McIntosh was encouraged to look into the cost for repairs and replacing the heater.

– Council authorized McIntosh to purchase a swing constructed for youth with autism for Follansbee Park. The swing was suggested by Councilman at large John Casinelli, who said such a swing at Brooke Hills Park was well received and noted the city has installed a handicap-accessible swing at Follansbee Park.

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