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— City ordinances re

garding animals - particularly farm

animals - within city limits are not

specific enough, Gentry Mayor Wes

Hogue told council members at the

August 3 meeting.

Hogue suggested the council con

sider the question of farm animals be

ing raised in residentially-zoned areas

as part of 4-H project or fair entries.

He said the matter had not really be

come a problem, but he thought it

wise to consider it before it did.

At issue was the question of

whether farm animals such as sheep,

goats, cows, chickens or pigs could be

raised in a residential area as a part of

a club project or a fair entry.

Councilwoman Clara Garrett said

she had received complaints over pigs

being raised in the neighborhood and

causing a stench.

The question will be referred to the

planning and zoning commission be

fore coming back to the council for ac

tion if an ordinance needs to be amend

ed or a new ordinance proposed.

"It would be nice to hear from the 4-

H people, how many actually live in

Gentry in residential zones," said

councilman James Furgason.

In other business, a contract was

unanimously approved with ESI,

adding $2,000 to include the sewer

system into the already-approved

$15,000 contract for a hydraulic study

for the city.

The completed project will help

with future planning by providing a

model for the whole city, showing theeffects of new housing additions or businesses on the entire system, public works supervisor David McNair told the council. "It will be good for the planning commission," he said.

Also approved was a Hazard Mitigation Plan for Benton County. It was necessary to approve the plan in order for the city to be eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency funding in the future.

The city is continuing with plans to take over the Flint Creek Cemetery, Hogue said, telling the council he would be seeking quit-claim deeds from parties which might have legitimate claim to the property.

The purpose of taking over the ownership of the old cemetery, which is adjacent to current city limits, it to maintain the cemetery. The cemetery is becoming overgrown, even though Benton County inmates mowed the cemetery earlier this summer. The city cannot spend tax dollars to care for the cemetery as long as it is outside of the city limits and privately owned.

The Oklahoma water project is moving ahead, Hogue said. Easements have been obtained and the project is ready to go to bid so that contracts can be awarded. The project will extend Gentry's water service line to the Oklahoma border, and Oklahoma will purchase water from Gentry to provide water to a number of residents in the Sandusky and Tonnece communities whose wells were contaminated by a fuel tank leak.

Hogue also told council members that he would be starting the budget formulation process for 2010 with meetings of the finance committeeand department heads. He anticipated a tightening of the new budget because of the decline in incoming tax revenue.

"I will use the first six months of 2009 to project 2010 revenues and will adjust the new budget to match," Hogue said. "My intention is that our budget will reflect our revenues."

Hogue also told council members if they had any special projects which they would like to see included in the 2010 budget, they should put them out on the table now so they can be considered in the budget planning process. Hogue did not anticipate the city would be able to afford many unbudgeted projects in the new budget cycle.

Hogue reported that SSi was still working to resolve a few minor issues with the library building, and that those repairs would need to be completed before SSi will be given the city's final payment. Among those repairs were a few "minor leaks" around the front windows and the skylight and some repairs to the stucco.

Hogue also reported to council members that he had received for the city a prestigious award for the library presented by the American Library Association in conjunction with the American Institute of Architects at a Chicago convention.

"It was the Gentry story that sold them on the project," Hogue said, explaining that the community's commitment to the library project and the use and preservation of an old downtown building were important factors in the choosing of the renovated Gentry Library for the award.

News, Pages 1 on 08/12/2009

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