Marlinton Town Council Approves Updated Animal Ordinance
Marlinton, WV – During its meeting on October 3, Marlinton council voted unanimously to approve the first reading of a town animal ordinance. A council committee and members of the public have worked on the new law for more than a year.
For less serious offenses, the new ordinance provides for fines as much as $300, plus court costs and animal care costs. For more serious cases of animal cruelty, the law provides penalties ranging from a $500 fine to a 30-day jail term. If approved, the new ordinance will proscribe how owners must house, maintain and control their animals within the town limits.
The ordinance would make it illegal to keep a dog chained to a fixed point for more than 12 consecutive hours in a 24-hour period, although owners will be allowed to restrain dogs continuously with a cable-trolley system if the cable and tether are no less than 15 feet in length.
The ordinance would make it illegal to take an animal onto public property or onto another person’s property without a means to remove excrement. The ordinance also would outlaw transporting a dog in the bed of a truck unless the animal is in a cage or restrained on a leash.
In response to numerous complaints about barking dogs, the ordinance would prohibit owning an animal which, by frequent and long continued noise, shall disturb the comfort or repose of persons within the vicinity of such animal.’ The new ordinance is available for public inspection at the Marlinton town office. The law will take effect if approved by council after a second reading at the November meeting.
Council voted unanimously to authorize attorney J. Steve Hunter to file circuit court pleadings to protect the town’s ownership interest in Courtney Avenue. The town is involved in an ownership dispute with Dr. John Mallow and circuit court judge Joseph Pomponio recently ruled against the town.
Council is considering hiring Hunter to pursue continued legal recourse. The attorney will file immediately necessary pleadings, at no cost, and prepare a fee estimate after he has reviewed the case. Hunter said his initial review indicated that all interested parties had not been made parties to the case.
“I see that there are a lot of people that ought to be involved that aren’t,” says Hunter. “That same street was made a part of the deal with West Virginia Housing Development Fund to put in all the money up there. So I suspect there’s some essential parties that haven’t been brought into this action. What I will do is review all of this at no cost, and then will advise you of what you can and cannot do; and I will advise the Mayor of what my fees might be on each of those options, and then you can make a decision on what you want to do.”
In other business, Marlinton council:
Approved a final payment of $88,656.07 to contractor Kanawha Stone, Inc. for work on the recently-completed stormwater/sewage drainage project
Set Halloween trick or treat hours for October 31 between 5 and 7 p.m
Voted unanimously to donate $1,500 to McClintic Library
Heard public input from Beth Little and Cyla Allison, who urged council to restrict hydrofracture gas drilling in the municipality and urged council members to visit a gas field in Wetzel County to see the impact of large-scale hydrofracture drilling
And heard a public complaint from Janet Miller about a neighbor’s allegedly unkempt property.