Pond Feasibility Study Approved, Council Denies Pit Bull Request

WAYNE – Following another lengthy discussion on the ‘Pond Feasibility Study’ from Olsson more information was provided prior to an approval as an ‘emotional support animal’ request was also brought forward during Tuesday evening’s regularly scheduled Wayne City Council meeting.

From council chambers inside City Hall, a trio of action items were taken on Wayne Volunteer Fire Department applications for memberships. They included new members Hannah Keatts who spent a year and a half on the Blair Fire Department and will be attending WSC along with Alexander McCarty who spent time with the Tekamah Fire Department and will be attending WSC (father, grandfather and great grandfather all fire chief). Also, Alexandra Harrell from Wayne will be the fifth cadet joining the Wayne Volunteer Fire Department with the sixth and final cadet possibly being introduced in December.

Towards the end of the meeting, councilmembers heard updated information on the Pond Feasibility Study with additional costs going towards soil testing.

Mayor Cale Giese was joined by councilmember Chris Woehler opposing the study and listed several other items that are needing to be improved to make Wayne a great place to live.

Chairman of the ‘Stool To Cool’ group, councilmen Jason Karsky stated this was the next step and was wanting to gather more information before making a decision on if they move on with the pond idea near the Summer Sports Complex.

Council approved the study 7-1 (Woehler in descent) for the roughly $20,000 fee to Olsson.

Majority of the Wayne City Councilmembers were wanting to know more from this study to make an informed decision, according to mayor Cale Giese.

“The hope is that spending this money, getting this work done by the professionals will help us,” said Giese. “To get to that position where we are ready to give thumbs up, thumbs down or punt the football and leave it green space and maybe decades down the road they can do something.”

It was also brought up if this study is not done, they’ll never know the price to construct a pond.

Juan Zazueta and Fernand Lopez reside at 402 East 6th Street in Wayne and were requesting to allow a pit bull to remain in city limits for the purpose of being an emotional support animal. City Attorney Amy Miller began the conversation stating that it is an ordinance in the City of Wayne to not have the breed of pit bulls inside city limits and the ordinance was created with pit bulls being a danger, in general, to the community.

Zazueta stated the dog has worn a shock collar and wears a muzzle when out of the house and has lived in Wayne since last October after he got out of the military in North Carolina with family in the area. The pit bull was born on January 20, 2020 and has been registered as an emotional support animal since August 4, 2021 and provided the certificate to council.

Mayor Giese added emotional support animals are protected under federal statute.

“Federal trumps local statue,” Giese added. “But one of the exceptions to that emotional support animal statue at the federal level is that if it’s against the safety of the public then it can be denied by the city council.”

The recommendation from the city attorney to deny the request was approved as the owner just have to find a location outside of city limits to keep the pit bull.

The standard time allowed is 48 hours to remove the pit bull from the city limits as Miller stated just to keep in contact with either her office or Chief of Police, Marlen Chinn. If a place outside the city limits is not found in the allotted time, the pit bull could be impounded and still if a location outside of the city limits is not found could possibly be put down.

Sandy Brown also had her street closure request approved for the Eighth annual Wayne Green Team Electronics Recycling event. Traffic on third street between Pearl and Lincoln Streets will create two eastbound lanes from 8 – 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 18.

The Wayne Green Team has budgeted for 30,000 pounds of electronics as normally they only allow up to 20,000 pounds. Over 120,000 pounds of electronics have been collected during this event with volunteer assistance from City of Wayne staff as well as the Wayne State College women’s soccer and men’s basketball teams. Over $9,000 of the about $11,000 grant from the NDEE will go towards the vendor collecting the electronics.

The next regularly scheduled Wayne City Council meeting will be on Tuesday, September 7 at 5:30 p.m. Council will also meet on Tuesday, August 31 during their mini retreat starting at 5:30 p.m. from the Fire Hall. This would be to address facilities along with a budget hearing open to the public that will start at the beginning of the meeting. A second budget hearing will be held on Tuesday, September 7.

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