It was a busy April for the Purdy Police Deportment with warmer weather and a rash of dog complaints keeping officers occupied.
Police Chief Jackie Lowe said there was an increase in dog complaints from citizens throughout the city, and newly appointed City Judge Andrew Hagar was taking a tough stance on irresponsible pet owners.
Lowe said officers are giving pet owners only one opportunity to keep animals restrained in the future before issuing a citation on the second complaint.
"They are cited into municipal court, and the fines are pretty stiff," Lowe said. "With court costs added in, some are over $300. We'll see how many owners care enough about their animals to keep them restrained."
Lowe went on to illustrate the new enforcement drive with an example of one resident who had been issued a number of citations and was ordered into court on March 14. Hagar ordered the individual to get rid of all his dogs and never own another one as long as he lives within the city limits of Purdy. The animals have subsequently been removed.
"They're taking this pretty seriously," Lowe said of the new city attorney, Darlene Parrigon, of Pierce City, and Hagar. "We're cracking down."
Officers answered a total of 10 dog complaints in the month of April, which irritated aldermen.
"Gas is $3.50 a gallon, and we're chasing dogs," Alderman Wayne Rupp said. "We need to see if there is a way to add a service call fee for every dog complaint that they have to answer."
Lowe said people from out of town are also dropping their animals in Purdy, and said if residents could obtain tag numbers when they saw such activity taking place that citations would be issued to offenders.
"People are not able to care for their animals due to the economy and they're dumping unwanted pets off here in town." Lowe said. "That's felony animal neglect and abandonment."
Lowe also reported that Chaase Sneed, 17, of Newtonia, had been arrested for felony stealing and criminal trespass in connection with a February incident that occurred at Purdy High School. A juvenile involved in the matter has also been charged with felony stealing and turned over to juvenile authorities.
In other business, aldermen discussed the cost of cleaning and televised inspection of the city's wastewater pipes by Ace Pipe Cleaning Service, headquartered in Kansas City.
Public Works employee Ted McIntire said nearly 22,000 of pipes needed to be cleaned and inspected.
Aldermen approved having the eastern portion of town cleaned and scoped at an approximate cost of $23,250. Aldermen Rupp and Steve Roden indicated they would contribute their monthly stipends toward the project.
Mayor Ron Dutra also reported Allgeier, Martin and Associates, of Joplin, had notified him that further testing for groundwater and surface water near the lagoon was needed.
Initially, aldermen thought that a three-month sampling would provide enough information about the nitrate levels at the site to satisfy the environmental investigation of nitrate content in the ground water. Aldermen previously ordered installation of three additional monitoring wells at the site, however there are still anomalies in the data.
Dutra said they may have to abandon monitoring well #1 and drill another three wells on the property.
In the meantime, Dutra recommended a three-month extension on sample collection at the site to better determine "what's going on out there."
J.R. Akhtar, new owner of Purdy Mobile Home Park, requested a letter from the council stating that discussions are underway to hook the mobile home park's system into the city's system once improvements are completed in the city.
"I think that will be enough to satisfy them," Akhtar said. "They know you are working on your system, and we are waiting on that."
Akhtar said he would be willing to pay a significant portion of the pipe installation costs when the city was ready to move forward on the project.
In other business, aldermen discussed ongoing problems with the Barry County E-911 addressing system, which continues to plague cities in Barry County.
"Every city in Barry County has a Fourth Street," said Russ Nichols. "So 911 didn't address the cities."
"You mean Google can find me but 911 can't?" asked a frustrated Rupp.
"Yes," Nichols replied. "They can't differentiate Fourth Street in Purdy from Fourth Street in Seligman."
Nichols proposed getting addresses of city residents from the water billing system and using a global positioning system to stop at each address and mark it so that data could be entered into the city's database.
"At least we would have a map for our own purposes," Nichols said. "We would then have something for emergency planning."