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Ball in City Council Court

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Posted by: EricWI at Sat Feb 11 20:18:46 2012  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by EricWI ]  
   

The ball's in the Muscatine City Council's court now: Python owners’ plea prompts members agree to discuss amending exotic animal ordinance

MUSCATINE, Iowa — Anthony Wolfmueller’s pair of pythons may get to stick around in Muscatine after all.

The City Council agreed Thursday to study — and perhaps amend — its exotic animal ordinance prohibiting constrictors, including ball pythons.

A week ago, the City Council gave Wolfmueller 30 days to find new homes for the snakes after they were discovered in his Park Avenue apartment during a routine rental inspection.

But following Wolfmueller’s

presentation Thursday during the Councils’ in-depth meeting, members decided to seek opinions and input

on the ordinance from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources

and from other experts.

Along with his request for an amendment to the city ordinance, Wolfmueller brought before the Council information on how other Iowa cities deal with snake restrictions. Wolfmeuller suggested a 10-foot length limit in Muscatine.

“I think we should give the matter a fair hearing,” said Councilman Tom Spread. “We also ought to consider licensing them, so we know what and where these critters are.”

Councilman Osama Shihadeh, while acknowledging that Wolfmueller was a good snake owner, expressed concern over the possibility that amending the ordinance would open the door to other snake owners who wouldn’t be so responsible.

“What if someone dumps one of these in a ditch?” he asked.

“That would be a problem,” Wolfmueller conceded.

“We’ll do some investigating,” Mayor DeWayne Hopkins told Wolfmueller. “The Council will

give it full consideration.”

After the in-depth session concluded, City Administrator Gregg Mandsager said that if the City Council is making progress on amending the ordinance, he can administratively extend Wolfmueller’s 30-day deadline.
http://muscatinejournal.com/news/local/government-and-politics/the-ball-s-in-the-muscatine-city-council-s-court/article_47b8b512-539d-11e1-9cfb-0019bb2963f4.html


   

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