Blackfoot City Council listens to proposals

BLACKFOOT — On Tuesday members of the Blackfoot City Council approved discussions with two groups which want to use city property.
Mayor Mike Virtue noted that an organization out of Utah wants to use Jensen Grove Lake for a regional wakeboard competition on July 28. He also noted that another organization would like to use the old BMX track property for ATV training at least one time this summer.
"This sounds like a win-win for the city," said councilman Rich Woodfin.
"It's another way to get people off the freeway and see our wonderful growth," councilman Butch Hulse said in agreement.
The council voted unanimously to allow the mayor to continue discussions about those possibilities.
Hulse sought discussion on allowing laying hens in the city limits. He suggested that the city look at an ordinance similar to one which Idaho Falls recently passed. That ordinance allows people to have no more than six hens with no roosters and forbids them to sell the eggs produced by those hens.
Capt. Kurt Asmus of the Blackfoot Police Department, responding to questions about enforcement of such an ordinance, noted that there more chickens in town than people realize.
"A lot of cities up and down the I-15 corridor, including some in the Salt Lake Valley and around Ogden, are allowing chickens," councilman Chris Jensen noted.
When asked about chickens getting out and being killed by a neighbor's dog or cat, Asmus quipped that such a situation could be a case of "no harm, no fowl" if the dog or cat was in its owner's yard.
City attorney Daniel Acevedo recommended that, since the current city ordinance forbids farm animals in its limits, a proposal to consider a change be sent to the planning and zoning department.
Council members agreed to do so.
In other action, the council:
* approved the purchase of a lawn mower. The bit is $69,143 with a $16,000 initial payment already budgeted. The remainder will be paid in payments of $20,000 per year to Summit Financial over three years.
* released funds for merit pay increases retroactive to the anniversary dates of affected city employees.
* ratified zone changes from R2 to R3 on Fisher Street and South Street and to R3 from 442 NE Main to 790 NE Main and from 20, 21 and 22 Jackson Street.
* approved the leasing of some parcels of airport property to two different companies. The city regained ownership of those parcels when its former owner was unable to sell them and abandoned them to the city. The city will realize $1,100 per month in payments from those companies.