HOISINGTON — Several individuals spoke at the Hoisington City Council meeting on Monday and those that spoke were in favor of allowing chickens in the city limits of Hoisington at the special meeting.
The council will not take action until the May 27 meeting.
Eight individuals spoke in favor in chickens to the larger than normal crowd and to the council. All of them were in favor of allowing chickens in the city limits. Each resident was given three minutes to speak.
Stacy R. Walker, who presented the original idea to the council, said she once owned chickens for five years, and her neighbors had no idea they were present. The waste can be composted, and 3-5 chickens create no more odor than a medium to large dog.
She told the council chicken hens created no more illness than a cat or dog as long as one didn’t kiss them and washed hands after working with them.
“I love Hoisington,” another resident said. “Hoisington needs to look at future growth and willingness to be open minded.”
She said, “Chickens could enhance the community.”
One individual who just moved to Hoisington from Ft. Worth said he was surprised the city does not allow chickens. He said chickens were allowed in Ft. Worth, and he would like to have them for training his children on animal care and responsibility.
Resident Brian Beaver said, “Chickens do consume kitchen scraps that won’t be in the landfill. The noise factor is very minimal.
“I’m not opposed to having a permit to keep chickens,” he said. He also said the chickens would create no more waste than a medium to large dog.
City Manager Jonathan Mitchell said the city ordinance prohibiting chickens was created in 1964. He said he had received two emails about this issue.
The email from Pat and Lana Kephart was against allowing chickens in city limits.
Mitchell also said the feedback from residents outside of the meeting has been all over the board.
The city manager made no staff recommendation. He suggested safeguards to the council in his letter to the council if they decide to move ahead with chickens. They are:
•Registration fees for coops and hens to recover costs of enforcement and education.
•Allowing for annual inspection of facilities and random inspections.
•Limit number of hens.
•Apply the number of hens permitted toward the total number of animals allowed. The current limit is six in any combination.
•Establish suitable setbacks for chicken coops.
•Formal site plan review process.
After the council had closed the discussion one individual asked to speak just prior to the executive session after the public meeting ended. This was disallowed.
In other business, the council approved a pharmacy negotiating committee of Nancy Farmer, Karen Van Brimmer, Jonathan Mitchell and Clayton Williamson.
The city will renegotiate an agreement with Cardinal Pharmacy regarding a reasonable lease or purchase agreement. The current agreement will lapse on July 1, 2015.
The council approved a raise in the wages for the animal control/code enforcement officer. He was paid three different wage rates for his various responsibilities. The council approved a $2 raise in the wage range.
Mitchell said that they had a gas leak on Friday in the city but the mass communication system didn’t work that day. He said they have had 264 sign ups.
The city has nearly completed changing out water meters. There remains only 27 to change to radio read.