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Rushford pecking at proposed chicken ordinance


By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Apr 16th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Features

Two Black Australorp hens enjoying their backyard enclosure at the home of Andy and Amber Torgerud. Photo courtesy of Amber Torgerud Photography

The city council has taken a proposed chicken ordinance draft, put forth by the Planning Commission, under review. The draft is exceptionally thorough and should be straightforward to maintain, as well as making it easy for the city to pull the licensure of homeowners who fail to follow the provisions.

The keeping of chickens in urban settings has been a growing trend. Minneapolis, St. Paul, and many other large municipalities have passed ordinances allowing for the keeping of poultry. “We looked exhaustively at other ordinances in other municipalities,” noted City Administrator Steve Sarvi.

Last year, the city of Peterson, in prompt to homeowners Andy and Amber Torgerud, approved a similar ordinance. In Rushford’s case, Bruce and Tina Darr were the first residents to approach the council about the allowance of laying hens and they are adamant about their cause.

“With Rushford being a rural town, it seems only fitting that it would allow backyard chickens. Much larger area cities have chosen to, along with neighboring small town such as Peterson, and I have not heard of any problems,” cited Tina Darr. “There is a strong, nationwide movement, for people to, even on a small scale, get back to growing their own food. This can be for financial, or more often, for health reasons. Many people feel strongly about that and want to teach their children about where food comes from. Vegetable and fruit gardens have been great ,and allowing chickens seem to be the next step. There are numerous reasons for raising backyard chickens and I’m very hopeful that this ordinance will pass”

Proponents of the ordinance agree and are watching eagerly to see what the council will decide. “It’s logically inconsistent to allow dogs, and not allow chickens. Dogs produce more waste, are far louder, and can potentially run around town and bite people,” noted Andy Torgerud in response to the considered ordinance in Rushford. ‘It would take one hell of a chicken to do that. If it does, just cook it for supper. Problem solved,” he joked. “I applaud the City of Peterson for allowing residents to have chickens.”

According to the draft ordinance, the purpose is stated, “It is recognized that the ability to cultivate one’s own food is a sustainable activity that can also be a rewarding past time. Therefore, it is the purpose and intent of this ordinance to permit the keeping and mainte .....
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53

“The Rushford Question” gets its answer

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Apr 9th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Features

Prominent members of the Rushford’s council, the Rushford Area Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Authority, and the Rushford Area Branding Council were among the 30 gathered this past Monday to hear the results of “The Rushford Quest ..... 
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Rushford Library confined to Tew Memorial Library building

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Mar 5th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Features

After weeks of back and forth debate, on a subject that ultimately spans more than a decade, it appears that the Rushford Public Library not only will not see a new building built downtown, but it will be confined within the existing space of the Te ..... 
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Rushford library decision comes to a head

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Feb 20th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Features

Tensions were high Monday night, as members of the city council discussed the future of a proposed new library within the city. Library Board members and Friends of the Library present at the meeting no doubt wanted to see the council back their pla ..... 
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