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SHELBYVILLE CITY COUNCIL - Chicken ordinance questioned again

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MS4 stormwater report shows improvements

By Ashley Sutter

During Thursday’s Shelbyville City Council meeting, resident Elizabeth Falen urged council members to revisit their ordinance for non-domestic animals.

“I would like to see if we could get that changed,” she said, noting her concern was in regards to raising chickens at her home. “We believe that chickens really are not a problem.”
The current ordinance notes that all non-domestic animals must be kept a minimum of 100 feet away from the property line in any direction.

“Not everybody has that big of a yard,” she said, urging that a large area of land is not necessary when raising just a few chickens.

She said her daughter simply wants to raise a few chickens for FFA but the ordinance will prevent her from doing so.

“Not all of us can go to a farm and live,” she said, noting larger communities including LaGrange, Franklin County and Louisville allow chickens. “I don’t understand why here in Shelby County… a farming community, we have more restrictions.”

She continued and noted that chickens are not dirty, do not make much noise and are not problematic pets. “Chickens are really not that big of an issue,” she said.

Mayor Tom Hardesty said other residents came before the council about a year ago also asking for the ordinance to be reconsidered. “At that time we assigned it to the code enforcement committee of council members to look into,” he said. “At that time they choose not to take any action, but I’ll be glad to assign it to them again and see if they would like to revisit the ordinance.”

 

Stormwater report

Director of Public Works/City Engineer Jennifer Herrell provided for the council the annual MS4 stormwater report.  The Division of Water’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System program is aimed at reducing polluted stormwater runoff through six minimum control measures: public education and outreach; public participation and involvement; illicit discharge detection and elimination; construction site runoff control; post-construction runoff control; and pollution prevention and good housekeeping for municipal operations.

Herrell said to meet the first control measure, public education and outreach, they not only present monthly reports at city council meetings, but also host school presentations and have manned booths at various community events where they often give away rain barrels.

For control measure two, public participation and involvement, Herrell said they often partner with local groups for cleanups and the placement of storm drain markers.  In addition, they also host a leaf pickup and their yearly Household Hazardous Waste event, which is set this year for October 6.

In the area of illicit discharge and detection and elimination, Herrell said they have mapped all of their storm drains in the county and are working to keep that up to date.

For construction site runoff control, Herrell said her office works closely with developers. Last year they inspected 3,516 construction sites.

For post-construction runoff control, Herrell said they work to ensure facilities, after construction is complete, offer some sort of on-site water quality treatment, such as underground filtration through stone or detention basins.

For pollution prevention and good housekeeping for municipal operations, Herrell said they are working with a consultant to create an inspection plan for all of their own facilities. “Once we get that finalized, then we’ll start inspecting our own facilities,” Herrell said, noting they will be looking for stormwater pollution problems.

 

Also at the meeting the council:

  • Approved on second reading the ad valorem property tax for the 2018 calendar year.  The council voted in favor of maintaining the rate of 27.2 cents on each $100 of assessed value of all taxable real property and 33.5 cents on each $100 of assessed value of all taxable personal property.
  • Heard in a report from Harrell that the observation deck, which was funded by a grant, is complete at the office.
  • Heard in a report from Harrell that the street paving list is complete and includes Charlestown Way Loop, Goodman Ave., Bradshaw St., the alley between Bradshaw and Henry Clay, Linden Ave., Adair Ave., Old Mill Rd., Juniper Dr., Cardinal St., 1st St., and the public works facility. 10th St., Boulder Dr., and Southern Ave. are on the list and may be included based on the bids that come back this week. The recommended bid will be presented to the council at the next meeting.
  • Heard in a report from Shelbyville Police Chief Istvan Kovacs that their runs for August were 14,082.
  • Heard in a report from Shelbyville Fire Chief Kevin Baker that the fire on Kentucky Street two weeks ago was one of the largest he’s ever experienced. He said they do not yet know the cause of that fire.  He added that during the fire CSX closed their railroad for two and a half hours and he learned it cost them thousands of dollars per minute.
  • Heard in a report from Baker that their ladder truck is still out of service. Baker said the truck is about 20 years old and either major repairs or a replacement will be necessary within the next budget year. 
  • Heard in a report from Hardesty that he learned from a Sentinel-News article that several residents, including Tom Fisher, had went out during the fire to get water for the first responders. He said he was proud of the community members and the merchants that donated the water, as well as the volunteers who came in on their own time to help. “This shows the greatness of Shelby County,” he said. “It makes this a wonderful place for all of us to live.”
  • Heard in a report from Hardesty that council member Mike Zoeller was away in Atlanta for surgery. “Keep Mike in your prayers and hopefully he’ll be back with us soon,” he said.