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Hillsboro to revisit animal laws

Staff writer

Chickens and dogs drew Hillsboro city council members’ attention at Tuesday’s meeting.

Ronald Wilkins, who moved to Hillsboro in 2021, presented a request for the city to develop an ordinance that would permit residents to keep chickens in their yards.

Wilkins compared ordinances of other towns in the area with populations in excess of 500.

He said he was surprised to find Marion allowed up to 20 fowl.

Wilkins recommended an ordinance requiring that housing for fowl to be well-kept to prevent odors and prevent escapes, a limit of 10 fowl, and that owners who didn’t obey the ordinance risk fines or having their privilege to own fowl revoked.

“Fowl can be an asset for certain families to utilize,” Wilkins said.

Council members were warm to Wilkins’ request.

Council members agreed they had heard roosters and seen chickens in town despite fowl being banned.

City administrator Matt Stiles said the city had taken an attitude of not enforcing its no-fowl ordinance unless a complaint arose.

“So the consensus is to have Matt and the city attorney get together and draw something up,” Mayor Lou Thurston said.

Council members also discussed whether current dog confinement rules are adequate.

Council members agreed to review city code and suggest changes at a later meeting.

In other business, the council learned that Hillsboro’s R&D Liquor store at 500 Western Heights Cir. soon will have a new owner.

Shawn and Michael Vondenkamp have named their new enterprise Vondy’s Liquor.

Council members approved their liquor license and thanked them for keeping the store open.

The council also heard that Hillsboro’s Olde Towne building, 126 N. Main St., would be repaired and renovated —assuming the Department of Commerce gives owner Brent Driggers a $75,000 Historic Economic Asset Lifeline grant.

Members voted Tuesday to sponsor Driggers’s application, as required by the state.

The 1887 building is on the Kansas Historic Resources Inventory. Driggers wants to renovate the first floor into an event space and the second floor into apartments. The base would be used by a church group.

Stiles said the city would not be obligated for anything as sponsor of the grant.

Driggers, a council member, abstained from the otherwise unanimous vote.

Last modified March 22, 2023

 

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