Oskaloosa City Council confused about which direction to take with kennel
by Dennis Sharkey
What appears to be a dog kennel has moved into Oskaloosa and the council is having trouble approaching the issue.
The kennel is located near Hamilton and Elm Streets.
Earlier this month the council appeared to have charted their next steps with the kennel but the issue was still unresolved at last week’s council meeting.
The council had decided to have animal control officer Jared Bammes issue tickets and collect the animals.
However, Councilman John Norman said Bammes and Police Chief Rick Jones expressed concerns about impounding the animals.
The council instructed City Clerk Patty Hamm to send a letter telling the operator to cease operation of the kennel but it is unclear whether or not the letter was served. Hamm was not present at last week’s meeting.
Hamm said earlier this month that the operator had requested an application for a conditional use permit but has not heard from them since sending out the materials.
There are a lot of unanswered questions surrounding the kennel that the council would like answers too.
“Someone needs to be sitting right there giving us answers. Period,” Paavola said while pointing to an empty chair sitting in front of the council. “He won’t come to us or respond to us so we don’t know.”
Earlier this month Norman said many of the neighbors had begun complaining about the animals. He said after contact was made nothing stopped and the kennel appears to be growing.
“There seems to be some misconception about what’s happened or what’s going to happen,” Norman said earlier this month after a letter was sent. “Something needs to be done to stop where we’re at. I don’t’ think we’ve stopped anything yet.”
There are questions about whether or not an actual kennel is being operated. Paavola said he has been told that the kennel operator is taking care of dogs that belong to service members who are deployed. Even if the person is not operating a kennel, city ordinance does not allow more than two dogs more than six months old per residence.
The property does have a building permit for a garage.
The council gave no further direction. Paavola said he would get more involved in the issue before instructing the officers to move forward.
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