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Nuisance animals, debris in yards getting attention

by Ivan Foley
Landmark editor

Nuisance dogs and unsightly yards — and what to do about each — were hot topics for the Dearborn Board of Aldermen Thursday night.

There have been complaints about dogs — viewed as vicious and a threat by some neighbors — at a residence in the city. City officials and a county law enforcement officer have spoken with the owners of the dogs, but neighbors say the dogs are still not being properly confined.

Dearborn board members agreed to terms of an animal control ordinance that's based on Platte County's current ordinance. The Dearborn city attorney must make a few adjustments in the text of the ordinance, then send it back to the aldermen. It's expected the ordinance will be ready for approval at the board's next meeting.

Passage of the ordinance would give animal control enforcement powers in Dearborn to the Platte County Sheriff Department's animal control officer.

Dearborn would pay the county a fee of $500 per year for the service, city officials said.

Debris, excessive vegetation, mattresses and appliances can be found in some yards in the city, and resident Steve Counts asked the board when residents could expect the city to begin enforcing its ordinance pertaining to these matters.

After some discussion, aldermen expressed some doubt that their current ordinance is specific enough to be enforceable. It was decided to have the city attorney study the ordinance and make a recommendation back to the board.

In the meantime, Mayor Marvin Landes agreed that owners of residences in apparent violation of the ordinance should be sent a letter along with a copy of the current ordinance from the city.

In other business:

•Landes officially announced the appointments of Delba (Denny) McAuley and Bill Brooks to the board. McAuley was sworn in at the meeting; Brooks was out of town and will take his oath at the next meeting.

•Landes told the board the county has agreed to give the city $300,000 for parks development, with that money coming from the county's half cent park sales tax. The city cannot spend the money at Dean Park, since it actually sits across the county line into Buchanan County. The city will explore other opportunities on which to use the park money.

•"We better be careful on our spending the next couple of months," was the remark from alderman Lila Scrivener as she looked at the city's budget/financial statement, which shows funds to be tight.

•Landes said the connection to Kansas City water is coming closer to being a reality. Once the line is brought to Dearborn's connecting point, the city must begin making payments on the line. Landes said when the city begins using water from Kansas City, Dearborn will shut down its own water plant and savings from the closing will be put toward paying for the Kansas City line.

•It was announced the Christmas in Dearborn celebration will be held Saturday, Dec. 7 from 4-7 p.m. along Main Street.