May 16, 2007 Edition

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Council discusses
WR dog problem

Gloria Wilkerson

Walnut Ridge City Councilmen discussed the need for a full-time dogcatcher, equipment needed to mop out ditches to improve drainage and whether to use city helicopters or buy an airplane to spray for mosquitoes this summer at their May 8 meeting.

Mayor Michelle Rogers told the council that she receives complaints every day about dogs loose in town and council members said they also receive complaints and have some of their own about the dog problem.

Alderman Johnnie Fears filled the council in on the state's requirements for a dogcatcher and the guidelines one would need to follow. "We've been looking at the dog problem for four years now," Fears said. " We have numerous ordinances in place, but they are not taking care of the problem."

Whether or not the city was ready to add a full-time position to the city's payroll was discussed. Alderman Ron Smith suggested that the city might partner with other towns in the county and hire a full-time person that could work for each of them as needed. Mayor Rogers agreed to talk to the mayors of Hoxie and Black Rock, who also have dog problems, to see if they would be interested in such a plan.

The council discussed acquiring new ditching equipment to help with the work that needs to be done to city ditches.

Alderman Michael Wallin told the council that the city has miles of ditches that need cleaned out to prevent flooding and standing water. He added that mosquitoes are a major problem when water is allowed to stand. Mayor Rogers said the equipment would be purchased on a lease/purchase plan. The council debated which type of equipment would be best suited to the city's needs. No action was taken.

Alderman Wallin told the council that the mosquito committee had voted to sell the city's helicopters and buy a twin-engine airplane to be used for spraying and other city business.

The council agreed to finish repairs on the helicopters and buy a regulator that one needs in order to fly. No action was taken on the purchase of a plane.

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