By Lukas Eggen Ely Times Staff Writer

Ely residents can expect an increase in enforcement of city ordinances involving animals in the near future, City Councilman Bruce Setterstrom said. New hires will allow animal control to enforce cruelty to animals, abandonment, mistreatment, etc., barking dogs, dogs at large, too many dogs in household, dog license required and dangerous dogs. Fines vary by ordinance.

The City Council voted to table consideration to increase the number of dogs allowed per household within the City of Ely limits but the item sparked arguments for and against. Current laws allow a household to have two dogs while a foster situation can have three dogs. Councilman Marty Westland abstained from voting because he has three dogs.

“In the past eight years that I know of, the enforcement has been lax in animal control and I think people are acquiring three dogs with no problem,” Setterstrom said. “I think our idea is to have a full-time animal control officer and enforce all of the ordinances.”

Setterstrom attempted to make a motion that would keep the ordinance the way it is now, but offer an amnesty program for people who already own three dogs.

“If you have three dogs now, go down and get them licensed in 60 days,” Setterstrom said. “That would be kept on file with the animal control officer. After the 60 days, we’re not changing the law; the law is still the same. You’re not allowed to acquire a third dog. If you already had three dogs, once you get them licensed you can keep those dogs until one dies and you can’t replace it…I think that’s one way we can make everybody happy that has two dogs and three dogs.”

Westland spoke as a member of the public and said he felt the council should raise the limit to three dogs across the board so everyone is on the same footing. The item was tabled because of legal questions. City Attorney Kevin Briggs was not in attendance.

The City Council also voted on the following items:

• Tabling consideration of Ilma Blackmore Estate’s request to waive Landfill fees and penalties accrued prior to Ilma Blackmore’s death on 22 Sixth St., 24 Keystone St., 26 Keystone St. and 34 Sunshine St. in Ruth.

• Approval to accept the Border Inn’s Millard County property tax bill as proof of payments to the Millard County Landfill to receive credit on the Border Inn’s City of Ely Landfill billing.

• Approval of consideration to reduce City of Ely WW Laboratory Coliform test fees for additional samples in the same lot to $20 for all lab clients.

• Approval of new plan for hot and cold patching.

• Approval on fire hydrant meter locations.

• Approval of consideration of the Ely City Reorganization Committee’s recommendations for a website.

• Approval to provide a letter of support to White Pine County in its application to improve conservation on US 6/50 as well as recreational improvements to Comins Lake, in partners with multiple government agencies at no cost and/or liability to the City.

• Approval to donate the unused set of bleachers to White Pine BMX. The bleachers will be able to be moved back to city parks, if needed.

• Tabling consideration to solicit proposals for contract legal services for the City of Ely.

• Tabling consideration to accept the notice of lease termination on the Ellen Hay s parking lot lease from the Roman Catholic Bishop of Las Vegas.

• Approval to reconsider the City Council’s decision to abandon the property on Avenue M between 10th Street East and 11th Street East to the White Pine County School District because the School District showed an interest in paying for the abandonment. Councilman Sam Hanson abstained because he works for the school district.

• Quashing approval to hire two summer help workers for the labor pool to do work in the Cemetery and in the parks/recreation so that animal control can spend more time in the field.

• Quashing approval of design for a new Cemetery office building.

• Approval of consideration of a proposed application for variance related to minimum setbacks at the rear of the property located at 1560 Mill St. Nadaline Robison was the applicant.

• Approval of a second reading of ordinance No. 661, bill No. 2013-07, which amends City Code 1-5-5A to indicate that the date and time of the Ely City Council regular meetings may be changed by resolution.

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