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City Council toughens dog ordinance

Posted 7/15/09 (Wed)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

Owners of dogs that are found running at large within the city limits of Watford City will be facing stiff fines under new city ordinances being enacted by the Watford City City Council.
The council began reviewing its ordinances governing pets within the city limits following a vicious dog attack over the Easter holiday weekend when a dog off leash critically mauled another dog that was being walked on leash.
During Monday night’s meeting, the council passed the first reading of the new pet ordinance that clarifies the definition of dangerous animals and imposes hefty fines and penalties for owners of dogs which violate the ordinances.
As outlined in the ordinances, an animal is classified as dangerous if it is known by its owner to have a tendency to bite; has bitten a person or other animal more than once, approaches a person in a vicious or terrorizing manner, that has not been licensed, been certified by a veterinarian as being a danger, or which has been determined to be dangerous by the court system.
The new ordinance also requires that the owners of dangerous animals provide proof to the city that they have purchased liability insurance in the amount of $100,000.
The new ordinance also requires that all dogs and cats when outdoors be either kept in an enclosure or under restraint either by leash, cord or chain. The maximum fine for animals off leash will be $500.
In addition, the new ordinance raises the impounding fees of animals to $75 for the first offense, $125 for the second offense, and $250 for the third offense.
The council will act on the second and final reading of the new ordinance at its Aug. 3 meeting.
In other business, the city council:
• Approved a proposal from First International Insurance for the city’s N.D. Insurance  Reserve insurance policy for the period of  July 17, 2009 to July 17,  2010.
• Approved payment of a grant by the Energy Impact Office in the amount of $536.50 to the fire  department for fire fighting equipment.
• Reviewed the Pledge of Assets from Watford City financial institutions.
• Tabled discussion on the replacement of the street light on the corner of 4th Ave NE  and Main Street until the August meeting.
• Approved the first reading on Ordinance #201 Amending Article 9, Section 8-916 to Chapter  VIII of the City of Watford City regarding Overtaking and Passing a School Bus.
• Approved the issuance of special alcohol permits submitted by Carol Garman and D & M’s Office to serve alcohol at the Veterans Memorial  Building for the Garman/King wedding reception and dance on Aug. 8, 2009 from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., and to Patrick Perry and D & M’s Office to serve alcohol at the  Veterans Memorial Building for the Perry/Swenson wedding reception and dance on Sept. 25, 2009 from 6:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.
• Approved issuance of raffle permits to the Good Shepherd Home Auxiliary, the McKenzie County Hockey Club, the Watford City Baseball Booster Club, the Wolves Booster Club, the Post 29  Honor Guard, and to the Women of Epiphany.
• Approved hiring Conlie Hermanson for the cemetery maintenance position with  employment beginning June 16, 2009.  Salary will be Category 1, Step 4.
• Approved step increases for employees  Lowell Cutshaw and Melissa Stompro effective July 16, 2009.
• Approved the council’s endorsement of the Community Military Covenant, which honors America’s military personnel.
• Approved signing a Traffic Safety Contract with the North Dakota Department of Transportation which will be providing funding to the Watford City Police Department for the  purchase of one radar unit for the police department.
The next meeting of the Watford City City Council will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 3.