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The Milton City Commission tabled the second reading of a dog ordinance until April after some discussion at Thursday’s meeting.
City Attorney Genon Hensley told the commissioners that by statute county government “is the entity that is responsible for taking care of dogs. This has come up three or four times over the years and we look at it and chaw on it and lay it back down because the county does—and we’re part of the county—the county does have virtually the same provisions in their ordinance. The county is the one responsible for the dog tags so it’s redundant.”
Commissioner Tom Mahoney observed that if the city voted in an ordinance “maybe we would be expected to monitor it.”
“We wouldn’t have any way of enforcing the ordinance if we did pass it,” Commissioner Gerald Owen said.
“I just don’t want people to get their hopes real high,” Hensley said. “Passing an ordinance and thinking that we’re not ever going to have stray dogs running around, that’s not true. That’s the danger that you get sometimes when you pass an ordinance people have expectations that are greater than what you can actually do.”
“It’s going to be virtually identical to the county’s (ordinance),” Mayor Denny Jackson said. “My question is would it really do us any good to pass a dog ordinance or just let the county handle it?”
“You can leave it on the table,” Hensley said. “If you want to think about it and talk about it some more you can bring it up in subsequent months. I’m always hesitant to encourage a city to pass an ordinance if there’s really not a whole lot that can change.”
Neighbor: Former garage
property a concern
Milton resident Charles David Reed attended the meeting to make commissioners aware of his concern over the state of property located across U.S. Hwy 421 from his residence on the south end of the city.
The property in question was the location of Buddy Conn’s Garage, an auto repair shop that operated from the 1950s to the early 1970s. The property has been abandoned for several years, Reed said.
Milton Constable Tom Persell said he had tracked the current owner to an address in New York State about 10 years ago. “He bought it at auction and didn’t do anything with it,” Persell said. “The county has spent money to go down there and clean up the dump behind it. There were old cars behind there.”
“Wild dogs have been in there,” Reed said. “I’ve been living across from it since 2001. I’ve seen wild dogs in there. I know there has to be snakes in there. It’s a concern to me.”
Reed said he has been hesitant to go onto the property to inspect it closer because he was afraid the building might fall down. There are numerous gaping cracks in the block building, he said.
“You walk around back and the whole back corner has fallen out of it,” Persell said. “It’s an eyesore and a hazard. It has been for years. I know the county tried once to get ahold of these people to get something done with it.”
City Clerk Pam Joyce was instructed to contact the county to determine who has been paying taxes on the property.
“If it’s in a bad shape that’s dangerous we might need to look into whether we can condemn it and have it torn down,” Hensley said.
“We’re going to move on that and see if we can’t get that straightened out pretty promptly,” Jackson said.