Archive for Thursday, April 3, 2008

City codebook may outlaw pit bulls

April 3, 2008

The city of Eudora's proposed new codebook has various breeds of pit bulls and bull dogs in its cross hairs.

An updated version of the city's codebook has been completed and after the Kansas Municipal League of Cities approves it, the measure most likely will go to the Eudora City Council for final approval in May.

One of the biggest possible changes in the new codebook has to do with the types of animals that will be allowed, or in the case of pit bulls, not allowed within city limits.

Eudora residents would not be allowed to keep American pit bull, Staffordshire terriers, bull terriers or any mixed breed thereof on property within the city.

City Administrator Cheryl Beatty said the dogs had been allowed in the city if the owner registered the dog, but since nobody followed those rules, the council decided to outlaw the aggressive breed.

"Before, they (pit bulls) were allowed as long as they were licensed and had proof of insurance and had to be contained within a certain height of fencing," Beatty said. "We know there are pit bulls in the community right now, but their owners never followed city property rules - they never came in and registered, they haven't got their insurance, they aren't contained in a fenced area."

If the guidelines in the codebook are made official, owners of pit bulls would be given a 10-day notice, but the city will not search out owners of the dogs.

"If a law enforcement officer was to see one or if a neighbor was to complain, the owner would be given written notice to get rid of the dog," Beatty said.

If the owner could not get rid of the dog, it would be removed from the home and sent to the humane society.

"Every dog is going to bite, but the difference between a pit and a normal dog is a pit doesn't bite - it mauls," Eudora Chief of Police Greg Dahlem said. "It holds on until whatever it's attacking is lifeless. So do they need to be outlawed? Absolutely."

Dahlem said it has been approximately eight years since there has been a pit bull attack in Eudora, and in that case, the victim had to be taken to an area hospital.

Some Eudora residents understand the need to outlaw pit bulls, but were against retroactively taking the dog away.

"I can understand even perhaps saying 'no new pit bulls,' but I don't think you can take somebody's pet from them, especially if they have a history of being a responsible owner," Eudora resident and Medical student at Kansas University Beth Loney said.

The codebook also would outlaw cattle and fowl within the city limits.

Owners would be given a 30-day notice of the rule before they are seen in violation.

Eudora also would have its first codebook section on exotic animals, specifying which animals - everything from apes and baboons to venomous snakes and wolves - citizens cannot have.

Another proposed change is an update of building codes; Eudora had been operating under 1993 codes and would begin using codes from 2006.

There were four code changes since 1993 that Eudora did not update.

Electric rates also could be changed, as there would be no separation of winter and summer rates for residential use.

Summer rates were .86 cents per kilowatt from May 1 to Sept. 1. Winter rates were .86 cents per kilowatt, with an extra charge of .06 per for each additional kilowatt over 1000.

Changes would cause there to be a flat rate of .86 cents per kilowatt.

"It's something that Eudora has done forever and we didn't no why, but there's no logical reason to do it anymore," Beatty said. "In my effort to make accounting simpler and more straight forward for not only the city but for the customers to understand, it just seemed we needed to revamp the rate system."

The entire codebook will be governed by municipal court and a fine of not less than $10 and no more than $1000 would be assessed for each offense, with each day in violation of the code being a separate offense.

The codebook's approval also would officially make Eudora a second-class city as a result of topping 6,000 people.

"Cities of second class are allowed, in a lot of respects, to do more self-governing because the council meets more frequently."

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.