The first steps towards changing the City of Ely’s ordinances for animal control procedures were discussed at the latest meeting of the Ely City Council inside the Ely Volunteer Fire Hall on Aug. 27.

Much of the meeting’s shorter than average length was devoted to the topic of the first reading of the Animal Control Ordinance that was drafted by Councilwoman Pat Robison alongside the city’s animal control officer and former compliance officer. As part of the ordinance’s first reading, which is a process that allows the council members to discuss and amend an ordinance, Councilman Bruce Setterstrom raised several concerns. Addressing one of those concerns the council decided to amend the ordinance to place a three day minimum and 10 day maximum limit regarding how long animals should be held before euthanizing them. Other amendments to the ordinance included language that would restrict city residents from owning more than two dogs if they live on less than 2.5 acres of land and a 15 day limit on getting a newly adopted dog spayed and neutered and its rabies shot.

The amendments will change the language of the ordinance as it will go forward to its next step towards being put into place, which will be a public hearing during the council’s meeting on Sept. 24. Robison said that she hopes members of the public will coming to the hearing to voice their opinions on the changes made to the ordinance, many of which she said she felt deviated from her initial “intent.”

“I’m hoping to hear from the public because I don’t agree with all the changes that were made in the last meeting,” Robison said.

After the public hearing concludes, the council will have another opportunity to make amendments to the ordinance before voting to approve it.

The council also heard a presentation from Wade Robison, a member of the City Hall Renovation Committee, about why the committee wanted up to $30,000 to hire an architect to help the project. Robison said that the money would allow the committee to get the project “off the ground” in terms of getting new architectural drawings for what the old City Hall building could become. The council unanimously approved the appropriation of “up to $30,000” to be spent on architectural services, which will begin with a “request for proposal” being sent out.

“It’s a great first step.  It will get the project going in the right direction,” Robison said of the council’s decision.

The council also began talks on increasing the fees to local business owners for how much the city charges for liquor licenses. The council approved a business study to find out how much the proposed increase in fees would affect local businesses, a measure that is required in Nevada State Law before making any substantial increase. The new proposed fees on liquor licenses, which were put forth by City Administrator Bob Switzer, would be as follows: $310 for a class one license, $330 for a class two license, $350 class three, $370 class four license and $420 class five license.