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Front Page September 22, 2009  RSS feed

Oakwood City Council cracks down on ordinance violations

By Melissa Missildine

Oakwood’s City Council met this month with a full agenda. One of the top items on the list was the continuation of a full force crack down on city ordinance violations.

Chief of Police Lewis Miller is stepping up the city’s “dog” ordinance. Anyone not keeping their animals secured on their own property will get fined and their animals could be seized. Along with stray and loose dog issues, many complaints have been lodged against a make shift kennel found inside the city limits. The concern is that it violates both the city noise and obnoxious smell ordinances and poses a severe health and safety hazard to the citizens of Oakwood. According to Suzanna Miller, owner of Happy Tails Kennel also lo- cated in Oakwood, you do not have to have a license to operate a kennel in the state of Texas. Her kennel, however; has not had the complaints the other one has. It has been reported that dogs are housed in cramped cages stacked on top of each other and the animals do not look healthy. It is estimated that more than 60 dogs are housed on the property. After the city contacted this “kennel”, they stated that they would be moving shortly from their current rental property to a permanent one in Butler. According to members of the Council, that isn’t soon enough. Measures will be taken to expedite this move, or fines that could be in excess of several thousand dollars could be assessed. Chief Miller has already made contact and will follow up.

Notices were sent out with the water bills stating that residents would be given only this one warning to clean up their act. Chief Miller has been given orders to issue certified letters to anyone breaking the “junkyard” ordinance and then immediately cite anyone who does not abide it within the allotted time. So far, everyone has done their best to help out with Oakwood’s curb appeal.

On that note, the Council voted to bring in two large dumpsters to help with the clean up. These dumpsters will be made available to Oakwood residents for approximately one week. Large items not allowed during regular trash pick up could be left free of charge. This does not include hazardous materials such as batteries, tires, motor oil, freon, etc.

The Council tabled a discussion on the purchase of utilities software and the staff changes to be made after current City Secretary/Court Reporter Stacy Salguero has her baby. Salguero has requested to stay on as Court Reporter as this will be only a few days a week, rather than full time.

Foreseeing a future problem with the growth of the court system in Oakwood, the Council will be searching out a city prosecutor on an “as needed” basis. At this time, there are two pending cases that could possibly be called to a trial by jury. In that situation an attorney representing the rights of the City of Oakwood would be necessary. A request for a list of attorneys of Leon County will be made to further this quest.

Although not in attendance, Fred Magouirk was nominated and the vote was made for him to represent Oakwood on the Leon County Appraisal District Board of Directors. Stroud relayed that she had spoken to Magouirk on the phone and that he had agreed to represent them.

Other items of concern included the reassessment of the $40 turn on/turn off fees associated with the water services. The board discussed the issue and agreed that this fee was necessary and reasonable.

The Council discussed the current inflow problems with the sewer lines. With heavy rains, residents are having an increasing problem with back ups. The item was tabled until next month’s meeting.

Work on the new water lines running down main street is nearing completion. The Council voted to go ahead and replace the filter media in the wells at this time as well. After completion of this combination of repairs, residents should notice a vast improvement in the quality of their water.

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