A recent incident in which the granddaughter of Troutman Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Spath was pursued by a pit bull has led the town board to consider strengthening the town's animal control laws.
A public workshop on the issue will be at 3:30 p.m. Monday at the Town Hall.
Currently, Iredell County is called in whenever there is an animal control incident in Troutman. The county has five animal control officers, leaving some concern about getting help quickly in case of urgent need.
“The purpose of the workshop is to determine (whether) the members of the board are happy with the procedures we have in place now,” said Town Manager David Saleeby. “Even though the enforcement of the law rests with the Iredell County Department of Animal Control, the town could pass stricter regulations than the county has, which the county would then enforce.”
Spath also asked police Chief Matthew Selves to look into the possibility of having the Troutman police play an enforcement role.
The county ordinance spells out both civil and criminal penalties in instances where owners fail to control dangerous animals, as well as procedures for impounding animals.
“We probably need to educate the public and enforce the laws better,” Spath said.
In other action:
The town board accepted a $2.28 million financing agreement with RBC Bank of Granite Falls for a long-awaited comprehensive road improvement project. Finance Director Steve Shealy said the RBC proposal, which carries an interest rate of 4.68 percent, was the only bid.
“Given the current condition of the economy, we were probably fortunate to get even this one bid,” he said. “This is not a good time to be borrowing money.”
The project will encompass major improvements on 22 streets identified as the worst in Troutman. Most are in the Inglewood section west of Main Street. It will include new pavement, curbs and gutters, storm drainage systems and some sewer infrastructure improvements.
The board adopted the first minimum housing code in Troutman's history. It gives the town legal authority to have abandoned dwellings that are unfit for occupancy repaired or demolished.
Although the town has had a public nuisance law for many years, it did not address the specific habitability issues contained in the new law, which was derived largely from similar ordinances in Salisbury, Mooresville and Statesville. The code goes into effect immediately.