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Dog ordinance, miscellaneous matters before council

VARIOUS ISSUES — The first reading of an ordinance prohibiting dogs from being kept outdoors in extreme weather and various other matters were before Wellsburg Council on Wednesday. -- Warren Scott

WELLSBURG — An ordinance prohibiting dogs from being kept outdoors in extreme weather and various matters related to the maintenance of city property were before Wellsburg Council on Wednesday.

Council approved the first reading of the ordinance, which prohibits owners of dogs from leaving them tethered outside when the temperature is less than 32 degrees or greater than 90 degrees and during other severe weather.

The ordinance establishes a fine between $100 and $500 as the penalty for violations and allows the affected dog to be taken by a law enforcement officer or the county dog warden and put up for adoption by the county’s animal shelter.

It was suggested by resident Carri Welsh, who has approached other local government entities to adopt similar ordinances.

She noted the various boards may craft them but said setting specific temperatures would be helpful in enforcement. Follansbee Council has adopted its own ordinance in response.

Welsh noted the states of Pennsylvania and Virginia and cities of Steubenville and Moundsville have such ordinances.

In other business, 3rd Ward Councilman Tom Gaudio suggested owners of vehicles be required to move them on days when their streets are being swept.

He said areas the street sweeper can’t reach because they are occupied by vehicles are the ones were the most dirt and weeds are found.

Third Ward Councilman Randy Fletcher agreed but said it may be difficult for some residents to park elsewhere.

Resident and business owner Fred Marino, who said customers have complained to him of loud jake brakes used by truck drivers passing through the city and an accumulation of slag and dirt at intersections along state Route 2.

He said while walking through the city, he’s noticed low hanging trees and a missing grate, among other things.

Marino said the south end of the city on state Route 2 could be made more attractive, and he offered to assist in beautifying it.

Gaudio noted the Wellsburg Lions Club has made plans to replace the welcome sign bearing smaller signs for various local organizations but is seeking approval from those groups before proceeding.

City Solicitor Ryan Weld said the city can’t prohibit jake brakes because they are a safety device used by truck drivers to slow when descending steep grades.

Council also:

– Heard from Barb Yoder, co-chairman of the Wellsburg 4th of July Committee, who requested and was granted $8,000 for the celebration’s fireworks display and portable toilets to be made available to those attending the volunteer group’s various events.

Following last year’s pandemic-spurred hiatus, the celebration will return with a variety of events from June 26 to July 4;

– Heard from City Police Chief Rich Ferguson, who bit members and other city officials farewell as his term will end June 30.

Ferguson, who chose not to seek re-election, encouraged to keep the office of police chief an elected one and to support its police department in the years ahead.

Ferguson said he worked with a good mayor, the late Sue Simonetti; and has confidence in its newest mayor, Danny Dudley; as well as his successor, Mike Allman.

Allman introduced himself to council, saying he is honored to work with them and noting he served previously as Brooke County sheriff and magistrate;

– Granted a request from the Wellsburg Baseball Association to hold a tournament at the 18th Street Park but denied the group permission to establish paid parking spaces within the park.

Council members expressed concern about damages to it; and

– Accepted a donation from Delbert Morris of three Grimes Golden apple trees to be planted at a city location to be determined.

The variety of apple originated in Wellsburg and is said to have been grown from seeds supplied by Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman. It was the inspiration for the Wellsburg Applefest.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com.)

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