The town of Hope has a law on the books regulating livestock within the town limits, but town officials can’t find a signed copy of that law.
When the law was first passed by a previous council in 2011, no signed copy was put on file. To cover their bases, the town council voted earlier this week to reauthorize the law on the advice of town attorney Cindy Boll.
The council intended to pass the reauthorization by waiving a second reading. While the four council members present voted unanimously to suspend the rules, allowing for the law to be passed immediately, Councilman Jerry Bragg voted against the final ordinance. Boll said that the accelerated schedule required two thirds of the council voting in favor to approve it with the second reading rules suspended — which meant all four members present had to approve. Because there weren’t enough members present voting in favor to meet the legal requirements the reauthorization only passed on first reading. A final approval has been scheduled for next month.
Boll said the issue came to light after several people came in looking for copies of the law.
Hope resident Tim Saylor was recently cited for having chickens on his property. Several neighbors came to Saylor’s defense at Monday’s Town Council meeting. Nancy Banta suggested that with the problems finding a signed copy of the law, that Saylor’s chickens be considered as grandfathered in. Another neighbor cited Purdue statistics that show Saylor’s chickens had a negligible smell from 14 feet away.
The council assured Saylor that his chickens could stay on his property through the start of the year while the issue is worked through.