The Alton City Council dealt with a number of measures in short order at last night's meeting, much like the Committee of the Whole did Monday night. One of the more interesting moments of the evening happened during the public comment portion of the meeting, in which an Upper Alton resident expressed concerns that he would be facing the scrutiny of the city because he is a chicken owner, which is not allowed per city ordinance.
Irwin Ballard says his concern was stirred last week when an animal control officer drove by, heard a rooster crowing, and told Ballard he had to get rid of the chickens. In a prepared statement, Ballard asked why it was against the law, and mentioned that several Alton bars and restaurants still allowed smoking, although it was also against the law. City attorney Jim Schrempf assured Ballard that most violations concerning animals were brought after a complaint by a neighbor, and said that if there had been no complaints, he should not worry. The ordinance banning chickens, hogs, and other animals many view as better suited for the farm, was put in place in the 1930's when Alton began evolving into a more urban setting. In other council business, approval was given to a redevelopment agreement with Dan Mar Enterprises to strip the roof at Riverbend Head Start in the Essic Robinson Building down to the decking, replace the damaged decking, and install a new insulation board and roof system. The city's TIF Fund will provide $25,000 of the $119,000 total cost.