Friday, January 20, 2012

TOP STORY >> Cabot mobile home gets reprieve

Leader staff writer

A rundown mobile home in Cabot, which has been targeted by the council table for possible condemnation since September, stands a good chance of being taken off the harmful-structure list since a group of men from Cabot United Methodist Church worked with the owner to tear down a dilapidated addition.

Alderman Rick Prentice, who wanted to condemn the mobile home in December because the owners had done little to comply with the city’s mandate to bring it up to code recommended during the Tuesday night council meeting that it be taken off the harmful-structure list.

It was on the list because of the way it looked, Prentice said. Now that it looks better, he doesn’t see a reason to keep it on the list.

Mike Hedges, one of five men from Men at Work, told the city council that debris from the mobile home still needs to be removed. And the mobile home needs front steps and windows replaced, trimmed and caulked. But in his opinion, it is livable now but not secure.

Prentice said the mobile home is not secure, but it is safe to live in.

“If it’s not in danger of falling in, maybe it should be taken off the list,” he said.

But instead of removing the mobile home from the list, the council voted to table the resolution declaring it a harmful structure for 30 days to allow a code-enforcement officer time to inspect it.

The council also passed an ordinance that raised the fees set by an animal-control ordinance passed in 2009.

Attempts to revise the ordinance started about a year ago when Jason Ellerbee, head of animal control, told the city’s aldermen that the fees weren’t high enough to cover his costs.

The added fees include a $7 increase from $3 to $10 for paperwork associated with spaying and neutering. The ordinance also charges pet owners who reclaim their pets $10 if the animals have to be trapped or tranquilized to capture them and $15 for vaccinations they receive while at the animal shelter.

Additionally, anyone relinquishing a litter of kittens to the shelter will be charged $25.

Alderman Patrick Hutton voted against the ordinance saying he fears that the $25 charge for kittens would lead to dumping.

Prentice also voted against it for a different reason. In keeping with the city’s zoning book, the animal-control ordinance said poultry is allowed on lots of one acre but did not set a limit on how many are allowed.

Prentice said even one Guinea can disturb a whole neighborhood, and he thought the ordinance should be reviewed and amended before it was passed.

Ellerbee said that he doesn’t get complaints about poultry.

In other business:

The council approved the rezoning of 5.44 acres on North Second Street from R-1 to C-2.

Changed the name of the portion of Forest Loop Drive from Blake Drive to Eastern Avenue to North Forest Loop. The change is expected to clear up confusion for those providing emergency and delivery services to the street.

Approved a resolution adopting a land-use plan for the Kerr Station corridor.

Approved the $88,484 purchase of a front-end loader from JCB of Arkansas. It will be used in combination with the city’s asphalt zipper, a piece of equipment that repairs streets by grinding the bad spots into bits that are used as the base for repairs.