City Approves Animal Waste Ordinance Following Numerous Complaints

The first regular meeting of April for the Broken Bow City Council was quick as only a few items were on the agenda. An amendment to the municipal city code was unanimously agreed on which makes it unlawful to allow animals to defecate on public property unless it is placed in an appropriate refuse container.

On Tuesday, City Administrator Dan Knoell said there have been multiple complaints of people allowing their dogs to defecate on public property and then it not being cleaned up. He stated when people have been asked to clean up the waste, the owners of the animals have left or simply refused. The problem has really been an issue at the parks and ball fields where the animals can roam free because of the fence, according to Knoell. He said there have been instances of kids having to avoid the feces or falling in it during games.

Knoell also pointed out that this would apply during any event including the Custer County Fair where horse manure would be on the street. He said it is the horse owner’s responsibility to pick up after their horses if that were to happen.

With the approval of the ordinance, any city employee or city police officer could cite someone for the violation which carries a possible fine not to exceed $500. Knoell informed the Council the waste baggies would hopefully be available to the public as early as next week.

Councilman David Schmidt said the City does a great job keeping the parks in good shape and it was a shame this ordinance has to be implemented.

According to the ordinance, “It shall be unlawful for any person having custody or control of any animal to place, deposit, discard, or dispose of feces or manure on public property or private property of another unless placed in approved garbage or refuse containers on public property or with the consent of the owner of the private property. This includes but is not limited to all public parks and streets, all public right of ways, fenced-in baseball/softball fields and around Jennie Melham Park, Paul Brown, Tyke Arnold, and the Downtown Square or anywhere else the Animal Enforcement Officer deems unlawful.”

In other communications, Knoell stated the tree dump will be open free of charge on Saturday, April 23 and Saturday, April 30 from 8:30 AM-noon and 1-5:30 PM on each day. He also stated the April 26, May 10, and November 8 meetings will be moved to the Broken Bow Public Library.

The next Broken Bow City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 26 at 6 PM at the Broken Bow Public Library.