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|Vidalia Council splits on pet ban|
The Vidalia Town Council split on the idea of banning pets from the Vidalia riverfront walkway at the Tuesday night meeting of the board.
Police Chief Tapper Hendricks requested the council consider the measure in April citing numerous complaints and calls about pets being unleashed and some being aggressive.
The current pet ordinance calls for animals to be leashed.
The board was asked to vote on prefiling an ordinance prohibiting the pets on the concrete walkway area only. Mayor Hyram Copeland said the prefiling of the ordinance was the first step and that a public hearing would be required where citizens could let their opinions be known.
Alderman Jon Betts and Ricky Knapp voted against the prefiling, while Maureen Saunders and Vernon Stevens gave the okay. Copeland said he could not break the tie in the absence of Alderman Tron McCoy.
Betts and Knapp both cited calls from constituents against the action.
"I don't think the negligence of one person should ruin it for all," said Knapp.
Betts agreed stating that the current leash laws should be properly enforced.
"I want to emphasize we are not against pets," said Copeland. "This is a safety issue."
Copeland said the matter would be raised again at the June meeting.
In other business, the council awarded bids for Gustav debris removal and agreed to advertise for bids on riverfront improvements. The city has a $55,000 grant from the Department of Parks and Recreations for new benchs, tables and other improvements.
They also approved a motion to apply for $35,000 in funding to help with repair costs to a damaged electrical transformer.
Copeland and the board also recognized city employees for there work in the aftermath of recent storms. Copeland said the debris pickup continues but that most should be picked up by the weekend.
He also asked that homeowners be careful about letting debris and limbs extend into roads citing safety concerns.
Retiring Vidalia Police Department employee Nell Guillory was recognized for 39 years of service.
The following sign application was approved:
- Cajun Specialty Meats.
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