News and Tribune

July 3, 2013

No bites on Charlestown animal-control ordinance

Charlestown will keep its range free of chicken coops



City council members recently considered amending a 1995 animal-control ordinance prohibiting city residents from keeping poultry and other animals at their homes.

But following Monday’s city council meeting, it was made clear there will continue to be no fowl play in Charlestown.

The animal-control ordinance amendment was the only item on the meeting’s agenda, and when it came time for city council members to act on the item, no one did.

Councilperson Dan James then motioned to table the amendment for further consideration, but no other council members entered the required second and third motions to table the item.

“I think it is the wrong thing to do,” Charlestown Mayor Bob Hall said of passing the amendment. “I think it is obvious tonight that they [council members] have been out in the public and talked to people, and that there is no appetite, by a huge majority in this community, to allow people to raise chickens in their backyards.”

The issue was taken under consideration after Craig and Jamie Waltz, of Charlestown, had received a notice from a city code enforcement officer that they were in violation of the 1995 ordinance, and the couple later spoke at the June city council meeting. The Waltzs told council members that they keep chickens on their property and wanted the ordinance amended.

Code enforcement officer Tony Jackson, who had notified the Waltzs they had 10 days to remove their chickens, said the city sees animal-control violations like many other surrounding municipalities. 

“We have removed a lot of chickens in the city since the ordinance was passed,” he said, adding that he does not go out looking for violators, but will respond to a home if a complaint is made.



Before adjourning the meeting, the council recognized the Charlestown Fire Department for its recent milestone of raising $1 million for Crusade for Children since 1959.

Charlestown Fire Chief John Heal said Tuesday that he attributes the department’s philanthropic landmark to the public.

“The community really gets behind us,” Heal said of the charitable proceeds. “Without the community, we wouldn’t be there.”

Heal said the $1 million total was reached during the 2013 Crusade for Children effort.

He said the department has raised money though door-to-door collections, auctions, raffling of baskets provided by community members during special events, and donations from businesses.

Heal said the department has also had success with an initiative started four years ago of a 24-hour road block, located at Ind. 3 and County Road 403, where firefighters accept donations from passing motorists.

“As far as I know, we are the only fire department with a 24-hour [collections] road block in Clark County,” Heal said