The issue of whether to allow chickens in the City of Ostrander was once again the topic of conversation at the Ostrander City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 7. The ordinance that was tabled last month by the council was once again before them to either approve or send back to the Zoning Board for further discussion.
“Who going to control what happens with the chickens?” asked council member Dan Hellerud. “What if a chicken is on someone else’s yard and a dog kills it?”
“If you want to talk about animals running wild around town – let’s talk about (feral) cats,” responded one resident. “We’ve talked about cats a few times in the past,” Hellerud responded. It was also noted that with domesticated animals like cats and chickens, there is very little the city can do when and if a person gets their license pulled because they are not considered dangerous like a dog.
“What about duck. If someone says ‘I want chickens’ then says a ‘I want ducks.’” Hellerud countered. “We’re talking about chickens right now,” said council member Lyn Massey. “Chickens have a lot more uses than ducks… chickens provide eggs, they clean up your yard, they eat insects and bugs, termites, there’s way more positives…”
Hellerud made a motion to not allow chickens in the City of Ostrander. However, the motion failed due to the lack of a second.
Mayor Pam Kunert voiced some concerns from her doctor who mentioned diseases such as salmonella and E.coli. However, it was countered that this is only in close proximity to the chickens and their feces.
Council member Vernon Thompson then made a motion to table the ordinance for another month until a full council was in attendance (DJ Start was absent). Council member Lyn Massey was the sole “no” vote for again tabling the issue.
Another bid was brought before the council from Mr. Sandless of Albert Lea to replace the flooring the Ostrander Community Center. The bid would be to strip and reseal the floor for $3,000.
It was brought before the council that one city resident would like the city to provide snow removal for sidewalks that run on County Road 1 and 3. Concerns would be city finances, insurance, and doing it in the constraints of the city’s ordinances. The change would require an adjustment to budget. The council unanimously agreed to keep snow removal the same. Residents have the option to abandon their sidewalk, but are still liable if someone would slip and/or fall because of improper maintenance.
The Ostrander City Council will meet again on Tuesday, March 7 at 6:30 at the Ostrander Community Center. The public is welcome to attend.