GRANDVIEW - Hoping to increase effectiveness in animal control and maintaining control on the graffiti problem, the City of Grandview will implement a new pilot program.
In the past, the animal control officer has been splitting time chasing down animals and also removing graffiti.
"As a result both departments are lacking," said Scott Staples, city administrator of Grandview, at last night's city council meeting.
Beginning in June a three-month pilot program will be imposed. Responsibility for the graffiti will be transferred over to the Public Works Department and the animal control division will only worry about animals.
The removal of graffiti will now be a full-time job with overtime if required to keep up with the unwanted signage.
To help reduce graffiti, cameras will be used in areas where they can be effective. An effort will also be made to establish programs to enable volunteers in the community to assist with graffiti abatement.
Also discussed at the city council workshop Mondy evening was new action steps for the Fourth of July celebration. The city wants to avoid a repeat of last year when the drinking of alcoholic beverages and the mess left for the next day was out of hand.
The city will make a concerted effort to increase the number of police officers and/or police reserves available for increased presence and enforcement.
Grandview is one of the few towns left in the Lower Valley still allowing the use of fireworks and the council would like that to stay the same. But, they say, it depends on the people this year.
The council would like people to clean up after themselves. Parks maintenance and public works maintenance will begin cleaning up at 5 a.m. after the fourth of July celebration. The city is hoping to get some assistance from groups involved in the sale of fireworks with the clean-up.
Councilwoman Joan Souders suggested the city put out extra trash cans in an effort to get people to clean up after themselves.
"It won't do any good," Councilwoman Helen Darr said. "They won't use them."
Councilman Bill Flory pointed out the expense to put the trash cans out wouldn't be much and it would be easy.
The fireworks action plan is a work in progress and the city administrator still needs to speak with the Grandview School Board on a couple of things.
In the regular meeting, the board amended sections of the Grandview municipal code and repealed the nuisance by barking ordinance and the unnecessary noise ordinance.
"We repealed the barking and noise ordinances because they are already covered in the municipal code," Norm Childress, Mayor of Grandview, said.
One sticky point in amending the municipal code was language stating a homeowner had 48 hours to clean up graffiti on their property once notified by the city. Not complying with the notification would be a class "A" nuisance and punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail.
Councilman Rick McLean didn't think too much of this idea.
"It's important to look at these people as victims and not criminals," he said.
Darr agreed, stating especially so if the city wanted these people to call when there is graffiti.
It was suggested the language be changed to a class "B" nuisance which would allow the resident 20 days to clean up the graffiti. But, it was decided this went against the city's determination to clean up any graffiti quickly.
"It's tough," the mayor said. "These people are victims of graffiti and then the city comes down on them to clean it up."
Jack Maxwell, city attorney for the city of Grandview, said the important thing is to try to get the people to clean up the graffiti. It was decided to leave the language in the municipal code and come back to it at a later date if there are too many complaints.
The amendment passed.
Also at Monday night's meeting, the council received the results of an online poll taken on what should be put on the water tower located on Velma Road near the high school.
The council decided to put the city logo on one side of the tower and the greyhound logo on the opposite side.
In the poll the greyhound logo slightly edged out the city logo by a count of 75 votes to 62.
illustration provided by The Grandview City Council
The city logo (L) and the greyhound logo will both appear on the water tower on Velma Road near the high school.