Man asks council for help with barking dogs

Published 9:07 am Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Bainbridge man who has taken his neighbor to Municipal Court over constantly barking dogs has asked the City Council for its help.

Richard Morrison, of 221 W. Evans Street, addressed the City Council at its May 7 meeting.

According to Morrison, one of his neighbors has twice been cited and convicted for violating the city’s animal ordinances and is now headed to court a third time.

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Morrison, who has lived at his residence since 2006, had spoke before the Council before several years ago to complain about the dogs’ “day-and-night barking.” Previously, Morrison had proposed the Council pass an ordinance prohibiting dogs from being kept outside within city limits. However, on Tuesday night, he asked for the Council to review its current procedures for dealing with violations of the animal ordinance.

Morrison said he was frustrated that his neighbor was ordered to pay a fine and quiet his dogs, only to have the barking resume in the future. Most recently, Morrison said he made multiple calls to Bainbridge Public Safety about the barking and was referred to the city’s animal control officer.

“I talked to [the animal control officer] and he said he had never heard of me,” Morrison said. “I asked why I couldn’t be subpoenaed to court to testify instead of having to call 911 over and over.”

Morrison proposed that the process for reporting nuisance animals be streamlined to ensure all complaints are documented and if necessary, considered by the municipal court judge. In the current case, the neighbor was cited for tethering his dog in violation of city ordinance, and not specficially for barking, according to Morrison.

“As it is now, there is no real push for a person to really change their habits after being cited and having to pay a fine,” he said.

Mayor Edward Reynolds said he “appreciated the info” and said the council would look into the issue.


Other business

In other business, the City Council:

• Re-appointed Teresa York, Billy Inlow and Tom Conger to the Downtown Development Authority’s board of directors. Per Mayor Reynolds, membership on the board is dependent on either having a residence or business located within city limits.

• Unanimously approved an alcoholic beverage license for Lori Shiver, doing business as Crave Eatery, 310 E. Water Street, to allow sales of beer and wine for on-premises consumption.

• Unanimously approved a request from the organizers of Bainbridge Bikefest to temporarily close the portion of Broughton Street on the Willis Park Square to accomodate the annual Bikefest bike show. The block will be closed on Sept. 21, between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

• Held an approximately 50-minute executive session to discuss a personnel matter. Mayor Reynolds said no official action would be taken.


Bids and Bills

In a unanimous vote, with Councilwoman Glennie Bench not present, the council approved the followings bids and bills:

Bids: $4,733 from Welch Tennis Courts of Sun City, Fla., for bench slats and canopies to go on courts at the tennis center on Cox Avenue; $16,442.86 from Pump South LLC of Leesburg, Ga., for submersible pumps to be installed at Andrew Street Park; $3,473.67 from NAFECO of Decatur, Ala., for firefighter helmets.

Bills: $12,000 from the Georgia Interlocal Risk Management Agency of Atlanta, Ga., for environment impairment liability / pollution coverage.