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Town to consider tightening dog ordinance

Tare E. Buck
Frederick News Post

(5/12) Town leaders will consider tightening the dog ordinance Tuesday, following a brief discussion on the issue this week.

The commissioners agreed Tuesday night that a more stringent regulation is required, which could guarantee a dog owner must keep the animal on a leash and clean up its feces or face municipal fines.

The change comes after complaints from several town residents that dogs are running free without their owners' picking up after them at Orchard Hills.

A new ordinance, which was not presented to the public, has been drafted, and will be reviewed by Frederick County Animal Control for applicability before it's presented again next week.

In other business, the town refused two bids received for a sewage system infrastructure and improvement project on Shipley Avenue. The town had budgeted about $60,000 for the work, but the lowest bid received was for $85,000.

Town Commissioner Glenn Muth wondered if the budgeted funds could carry over as revenue, or even partial revenue, in the fiscal 2005 budget now under consideration. He said that if that was the case, the savings could be used to offset proposed increases in the town's water and sewer rate, set to jump from $2.25 per 1.,000 gallons of water and $3.75 per 1,000 gallons of sewage treated to $4.15 per 1,000 gallons of water and $6.35 per 1,000 gallons of sewage treated.

Town Clerk Richard May said he was uncertain if the project's savings could be transferred from the capital budget into the revenue portion of the water and sewer fund.

Commissioner Ron Terpko suggested, if the move is feasible, that the $60,000 could be split, with $30,000 remaining in the capital budget as a buffer against further spending. He said the new sewage rate could, as a result, be lowered from the proposed $6.35 per 1,000 gallons to $6.15 per 1,000 gallons.

Mr. May said he would check into the matter, and that the funds could encumbered in some way that would prevent the potential savings.

As for the Shipley Avenue work, the town will most likely seek to include the project as part of a larger, $1.1 million sewage infrastructure and improvement project budgeted for 2005. It is the consensus of the commissioners that the project maybe cheaper if included as part of the larger one.

The commissioners also agreed to amend a contract with its lawn mower, Mountainside Farm, which is seeking a 5 per-cent surcharge to offset rapidly rising gasoline prices. The commissioners agreed to add the 5 percent beginning July 1.

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