Stray woes trouble Lyons Town Council
A slew of stray dogs are posing a pressing pooch problem for Lyons, with officials concerned at the rates the Greene County Humane Society would charge per animal to take them in.
"Our little grandkids are scared to death," Michael Bruner said, while his wife Joleen noted their small dog had been attacked by a larger stray.
Now, town officials are pondering the most humane way to deal with the hounds, though some residents threaten to shoot them.
Town Board member Daniel Grant said Tuesday he'd collected about five strays and attempted to deliver them to the humane society.
Grant noted the town has a stray ordinance, but can do little because state statutes undercut what can be done, given the humane society must charge to take in the dogs.
He balked when he learned what the cost would be from the society.
"I drove them down a county road and turned them loose," Grant said. "They wanted $25 a shot."
One angry resident, however, said another sort of shot awaits any dogs who strays into his yard.
Ed Wright said he intends to shoot stray dogs who threaten him, adding he'd readied to gun down a yowling cat recently which troubled him outside his window.
"By the time I had gotten my shoes on and gotten the gun, it was gone," he said. "The best response is a single shotgun shell. I'm not kidding."
While Indiana law does allow threatening stray animals to be put down, state law also considers animal cruelty, torture and neglect crimes.
Town Board President Scott Powers and Kimberly Nickless both called for non-violent solutions to the stray problems.
"I'm not condoning shooting somebody else's dog," Nickless said.
Powers agreed, adding "The best solution is to just take the dogs to the humane society and pay the $25. You don't want to take them out on some country road. They might get lost and starve." Also Tuesday, Powers raised the question of whether the Lyons Fire Department should accompany emergency medical technicians on every run.
Town officials agree the firefighters can prove helpful, especially since they've undergone CPR training recently and can be used to help lift those in need when first to the scene.
However, Powers said some fire department volunteers had raised concerns about accompanying emergency runs.
"If there's nothing for you to do on a run, then we shouldn't have a bunch of guys standing around," Powers told Lonnie Emmons, the sole firefighter present at Tuesday's meeting.
"I want it understood that this has nothing to do with whether we are paying the fire department on these. We will send you on those runs if the fire department decides they are essential."
The town board referred the question to the fire department, who will discuss it and report back later this year.
In other business:
* Town clerk-treasurer Kim Flynn announced the town is seeking applications to compete for grants which will allow homeowners to improve their properties. The town must receive applications through the water office by the end of the month. About 30 homes have previously qualified, she said.
* The town will also seek bids for mosquito control. Thus far, only City Pest Control, which handled fogging for the town last year, has bid on the work.
* The town awarded a contract for pest control work at town buildings to Haseman Pest Control, which bid $110 per quarter. Johnny Howell, LLC, had also competed for the work, bid $215 per quarter.
* Flynn told the town board that she believes she can find $42,000 to cover cost overruns on the town ditch projects, drawing money from various funds including the town's water operating budget, its motor vehicle and highway budget, and savings from sewage costs.
* Flynn also won permission from the board to purchase a new town seal to stamp official documents, explaining hers is worn and would cost $110 to repair, but only $40 to replace.
* Flynn also sought input from the town to "create a brand -- like when you think of McDonald's, you think of the Golden Arches" to help promote Lyons, along with a website.
"The best I could think of is lions, when we talk about Lyons," she said, though town board members noted the town's former sporting teams were the Braves, and White River Valley is currently the Wolverines.
Nickless and Grant noted some web designers in college and high school have done work for class credit, while Flynn said she would seek community input at the Strawberry Festival.