For the second time this year, the Logan County Quorum Court considered an ordinance defining and regulating the ownership or maintenance of ‘dangerous dogs’ in the county when they met Monday, Sept. 9.
A similar ordinance was put before Justices of the Peace in April. It was defeated when only two JPs voted for it and seven voted against it.
On Monday, Sept. 9, JPs discussed and tabled the ordinance until the next meeting, which takes place Monday, Oct. 14.
The ordinance, which is similar to an ordinance in place in Paris, defines a dangerous dog as "any dog that exhibits aggressive or dangerous behavior that could result in severe injury or harm to any person or domestic animal as determined by a county law enforcement officer."
A violation of the ordinance is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable upon conviction by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
According to the ordinance, those who keep such dogs are required to
• Purchase a liability insurance policy of up to $25,000;
• Post a sign that can be easily read from the road or sidewalk advising the public that a "dangerous dog" is kept or maintained on the premises;
• Confine the dog to a "completely enclosed habitable structure" strong enough that the dog can’t escape.
Also, the ordinance prohibits those with such dogs from having them on a porch, patio or garage unless it is secured and when the dog isn’t in a secure facility, the dog must be muzzled and on a secure and strong leash.
Logan County Judge Gus Young said the sponsors of the ordinance are going to meet with Logan County Sheriff Steve Smith and County Attorney Kevin Barham to "draft an ordinance that meets their needs and what they are trying to accomplish."
In other business, JPs passed an ordinance to purchase a building on the Courthouse Square in Paris. Funds for the purchase — which will cost $55,463.25 — are coming from the Circuit Clerk Automation Fund, according to Young. The building will be used to store county records, Young said. An ordinance was required because the building is owned by County Attorney Kevin Barham. The ordinance passed unanimously.
The county is presently storing records in the old Arkansas Health Department building on Academy Street. However, that building is being considered as home for a Mercy Clinic in Paris, Young said.
"I’ve been approached by the administrator at Mercy Hospital in Paris about using the old health department building as a clinic," Young said. "I met with officials from Mercy Hospital on Wednesday (Sept. 11) and they toured the building. There was no discussion about proceeding. We’re just in preliminary discussions."