Pit Bull ordinance sent back; not tough enough

By Staff, 04/20/21 9:42 AM

PRESCOTT – A proposed ordinance concerning pit bulls was sent back to City Attorney Glenn Vasser for not being tough enough.

This was done at the April meeting of the Prescott City Council Monday night. The proposed ordinance, amended from the 2009 law, reduced the time a person had to wait to get their dog from 10 days to three and pay a fine between $100 and $250, unless the dog in question had injured someone or the property of another person, in which case the dog would be euthanized. Regardless, the ordinance required the owner to move the dog outside the city limits immediately.

For Councilman Jerry Hightower, this didn’t go far enough. He suggested the three day period be removed and the dogs be permanently banned from the city limits. He said the ordinance needed to have some teeth and wanted to make sure people knew they couldn’t retrieve their dog once it had been picked up.  He pointed out Pit Bulls aren’t cheap. He added, the owners should still be fined and could potentially get their dogs, but couldn’t bring them back to Prescott.

According to Hightower, there’s a website showing cities in Arkansas that ban Pit Bulls.

Vasser said once the dog is turned over to the pound, it would end the city’s responsibility for the animal. A revised ordinance will be addressed at the May council meeting.

Jamie Pafford addressed the council on the purchase of the Nevada County Ambulance Service. Lawyers for Pafford Emergency Medical Services and the city are working out the details and the council will be presented a new contract, which will virtually be identical to the one the city had with the NCAS, at its next meeting.

Pafford pointed out her family has been in the ambulance business for 54 years and is based in Hope. Most of the NCAS crew, she added, stayed on once the change was made, with a new ambulance being bought and equipment upgraded. Dispatching, she said, will be done out of Hope, with emergency dispatching also offered. “We’re community oriented,” she told the council, “and moving in the right direction.” The company’s goal, she added, is to be a good corporate citizen.

In other business, Mary Godwin, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office, said the TA road project is complete, but a punch list is being done to make sure everything is up to spec.

There’s an issue with the sidewalk project, she said, with the Highway Department as it’s sorting out rights-of-way and distances. Vasser is helping research the project, but it’s taking longer than expected. She added, it may be done by this summer.

Cleanup at the Potlatch property is also being done, with trees being removed and bush hogging done. Godwin said there’s a long way to go as the street department has been hauling dirt and the electric department has been gathering stuff scattered around the property. The fence by the road was sprayed last year and needs to be done again, but the property looks better.

When asked about the fishing pond project, Godwin said she and Prescott Mayor Terry Oliver will meet with members of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and show them the property. From there, they’ll attend a grant workshoip, which is required and start the paperwork. The grant application is due by the end of August. The property in question is owned by the Charitable Foundation, and would have to be given or sold so the pond could be built. However, she added, the Dept. of Parks and Tourism, may require another site instead.

Jame Hillery, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Chamber of Commerce, said there’s a couple of events coming up. The first being the community cleanup on May 5. So far only one team has registered, but there will be cash prizes to the top three teams bringing in the most garbage. Trash bags, t-shirts, vests and gloves will be provided to the teams. The cleanup will be from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and anyone interested can sign up by calling the Chamber at 870-887-2101.

This event will be followed by the 7th Annual Crawfish Boil on May 14 at the Farmer’s Market. The boil will be from 4-7 p.m. and be carryout only. The prices haven’t changed and are $10 for a small plate, about 1.5 pounds of crawfish; $20 for a large plate, or 3 pounds; and $22 for a pound of boiled and peeled shrimp. Tickets are available at the Chamber.

Plans, she added, are in the works for a fireworks show on July 1.

Steve Crow, director of the Prescott Park and Recreation Department, was asked about the baseball program. He said there are 161 children involved, with many from out of town. There will be 13 teams playing baseball and softball this spring and summer.