Ordinance amendments postponed

FLINT TWP.— After listening to public comment, the township board voted to delay the second reading and adoption of two ordinance amendments.

One amendment pertained to the keeping of dogs, cats and wild animals and the other concerned minors in possession (MIP) of alcohol.

Ken Berg, a resident, came with a long list of suggested changes to the animal ordinance. Among them, he said owners should be allowed to keep kittens and puppies for 12 weeks, not eight weeks, as the ordinance states, which is too young. He also questioned language about dogs and cats running at large that should be changed to any animal. He also sought clearer language on animal nuisance noises beyond barking.

Berg also suggested the minors-in-possession amendment should include penalties for the parents of multiple offenders and also for businesses that provide the liquor.

Dennis Dunk, also a resident, said the ordinance limiting owners to three pets does not take into consideration that some people keep them in pairs for companionship such as two cats and two dogs. He said pets are members of the family and asked how someone should be forced to get rid of one family member. He also said the ordinance should consider the indoor and outdoor nature of animals. He said he had been attacked by a dog while riding his bike but never by a cat.

Patty Vineyard, accompanied by her Leader Dog, also spoke about revisions needing to be made to both proposed ordinance amendments.

The ordinances are posted on the township website for anyone who wants to read them.

Township Supervisor Karyn Miller proposed postponing adoption of the animal ordinance until some of the suggested revisions could be incorporated. She said it would be brought back to the next board meeting, if ready.

Miller wanted to proceed with the vote on the MIP amendment but Trustee Frank Kasle pushed to also postpone it because of suggestions made for it. Clerk Kathy Funk said the ordinance was needed “ASAP” to bring the township in compliance with state law. She asked the police chief if postponing it could cause problems. He said he did not think a brief delay would hurt.

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