Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

News

July 30, 2013

Chickens, economic development discussed

Knoxville — The Knoxville City Council took no actions Monday night, but held discussions regarding several topics. 

While staff continues to work on a new ordinance to allow chickens to be raised in the City limits, council members discussed what it should include.

Councilor Tim Pitt supports charging a fee for licensing. He believes that if a chicken owner has a financial investment, it will attract better people who will take better care of their coops. 

Fees collected could be used to cover the costs of the permit, inspections and enforcement. Inspections are recommended. 

Councilors Dave Roozeboom and Carolyn Formanek support the enactment of a temporary ordinance. This way, the effects can be studied to determine whether or not the City wants it to continue. City Manager Harold Stewart recommended a sunset clause be included in a draft ordinance. 

A meeting was scheduled to discuss the chicken issue with the public, but no one came, according to Assistant City Manager Dylan Feik. He said he might try having another. 

Mike Roberts, Knoxville resident, raised the concern of the potential increase in animal problems if chickens are allowed. He believes they will attract increased wildlife like raccoons and rats. Disease is also a concern. Feik said disease is usually associated with the level of cleanliness in the coops. 

Economic Development

Stewart updated the council on economic development issues. When he was hired, he was under the impression that economic development was one of his primary responsibilities.

Among the highlights he noted of late include the new McDonald's, Weiler expansion, Spahn and Rose expansion and other new businesses in town. 

Stewart intends to reach out to local bankers to see where they believe economic development should go and see if they are willing to help. As discussed previously, the city council wants to form an Economic Development Council. This has not come to fruition yet, but Stewart intends to seek people to serve with this group. 

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